Another Hall of Fame Induction for Skip Flanagan
There have been many successful coaches and influential educators throughout the history of Avon Old Farms. If you ask anyone who’s been affiliated with the school over the past several decades to name a few examples, you’ll most likely hear the name Dr. Henry “Skip” Flanagan.
He is already a member of the United States Lacrosse Association Hall of Fame, having been inducted into both the Connecticut and Ohio branches. He is also enshrined in the Avon Old Farms Hall of Fame, was selected as the 2018 “Man of the Year” by the Western New England Lacrosse Association, and was presented with The Governor’s Citation by his home state of Maryland for his contribution to the sport.
Still, the legend of Skip Flanagan continues to grow. It was announced over the summer that Skip will be inducted into the National Interscholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association Hall of Fame in an upcoming ceremony in November.
“It’s certainly a great honor,” Skip says, noting he is particularly proud of this recognition given the fact that it’s a national honor.
“I feel very humbled with all the incredible people that are already in that hall of fame. I’m very pleased and honored to now be amongst them.”
Dr. Henry “Skip” Flanagan came to Avon Old Farms in 1972, and quickly distinguished himself as an outstanding teacher, coach, and school administrator. Skip was the chief architect of the outstanding lacrosse tradition at Avon Old Farms. His understanding of the game and phenomenal ability to work with young people resulted in the establishment of one of the most well-respected lacrosse programs at the prep school level. Skip coached many outstanding teams and players, but his 1979 team was undefeated and earned the New England Division I Prep School title. Thanks to the firm foundation fashioned through Skip’s hard work, skill, and perseverance, Avon Old Farms lacrosse remains one of the premiere programs in the country.
After a 26-year stint as the head of school and lacrosse coach at Western Reserve Academy, where Skip continued to find success on the lacrosse field, he returned to Avon Old Farms as a dean and head lacrosse coach in 2010. Since then, Coach Flanagan has led the Winged Beavers to numerous Founders League titles and a New England Championship.
Throughout his near 50-year coaching career, Skip served as a head or assistant coach at Princeton and Michigan Universities; the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey; Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida; and the England National Team. With his influence and direction, Skip has guided thousands of young lacrosse athletes into major NCAA programs and beyond.
Many players have gone on to play lacrosse at the professional level, and credit Skip with leading them on a path to success.
“I was a good student with a solid report card because my coach/mentor, Dr. Flanagan, pushed me,” says Connor Kelly ’14, who this past September won the Premier Lacrosse League championship. “One morning, he woke me up around 6 a.m. because I didn’t receive an exceptional score on my English paper. He took me down to the common area to rewrite my paper before school. I wasn't too happy about the early wake-up, but I got it done and ultimately was grateful to have someone who cared so much about my well-being. These occurrences happened plenty of times throughout my years at Avon.”
Also a member of that PLL championship team is Zachary Tucci ’18. He described how a chance meeting with Dr. Skip Flanagan at a summer lacrosse showcase single-handedly changed his academic and athletic trajectory.
“He encouraged me to consider attending Avon Old Farms; it would not only have superior academics but also allow me to play lacrosse at a considerably higher level. Attending Avon helped me realize some of my best attributes, and Dr. Flanagan had a particularly notable impact on my life. As a result of his guidance and dedication, I learned the importance of prioritizing my education along with my performance on the field. I accepted his lifestyle recommendations, and my studies improved immensely with his guidance.”
To summarize, we fully believe that Skip deserves this prestigious honor, and are proud to see him earn another accolade for his lifetime of commitment to our boys and other students nationwide.
The induction ceremony will take place on November 12, at the Plandome Country Club at 145 Stonytown Road, Plandome, N.Y. Anyone who wishes to attend the ceremony should reach out to Matt Kowalchick ’99 at email@example.com as soon as possible.