By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It has not been an easy journey for Division II Lincoln University out in Chester County since they restarted their football program. In five seasons, the Lions have picked up just eight wins in 50 games. As a result, O.J. Abanishe will not be back as head coach in 2013, he has been replaced with Ramon Flanigan who is settling in after taking over the reigns in late April.
“People talk about dream jobs all the time, and they are usually specific to a certain school or a certain part of the country,” Flanigan tells KYW Newsradio. “For me, this is my dream job, because all of the things I think you need to be successful are here at Lincoln. That’s outstanding administration, a great location, unbelievable academic reputation of your school and then a good following. Our following right now isn’t a football following, because we’re still a work in progress, learning our football culture, developing our football culture. But the people here are unbelievable.”
This is Flanigan’s first head-coaching gig. A former star quarterback at SMU, he comes to Lincoln from Mississippi Valley State where he served as offensive coordinator.
“On offense we’re going to be very, very efficient, meaning we’re going to run the football,” Flanigan says. “We’re going to pass it for a high completion percentage and be efficient moving the football. (I’m) huge on not turning the football over, controlling the ball and playing field position, because the strength of our team is going to be the defense for the next couple of years. And that’s on purpose. Because, week in and week out, if you have a solid defense, you have a chance to win games.”
Flanigan inherits a team that went just 1-9 in 2012, but he sees potential in this group.
“I’ve gotten the opportunity to see some of the kids in person and I’ve watched almost every one of the games from last year,” Flanigan says. “The thing that’s surprising is there is a good group of talent here, the problem is there’s not enough of them due to our limitations and also just starting back. When young men are thinking about walking on, or places they want to play, Lincoln is not on the forefront of their mind, because they haven’t grown up with Lincoln on the forefront of their minds and that’s one of the things we’re going to change.”
Lincoln opens the 2013 season on September 7th, with the “Battle of the First” against rival Cheyney University.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.