Smith on Sports: Flick a great communicator for Mississippi State

Danny P. Smith
Staff Writer

Hank Flick was a great communicator.
Whether it was instructing one of his classes at Mississippi State, serving as a public address announcer at Bulldog athletic events, speaking at a church men’s group, or expressing his thoughts in a newspaper column, Flick had a unique way of getting his message out.
Flick was one of the best ambassadors for the MSU communication department during his 45-year career. He made a huge impact on my life as a teacher and advisor.
That’s why my heart became heavy on Thursday when learning of Flick’s passing at the age of 73.
There was never a dull moment in one of Flick’s classes. He had one of the most interesting ways of keeping the attention of his students.
Lectures from Flick were never bland or boring. He was always looking to get class participation so everyone in the room felt like they were contributing in some way.
Flick made sure students had a reason to laugh before the end of class. He found nicknames for everyone. Mine became “not necessarily the news” because of a comment I made one day during a class discussion.
Even before taking one of his classes, Flick’s voice became familiar to me while following the Bulldogs late in high school and when I started college.
Flick even gave MSU men’s basketball players nicknames from time to time when announcing the starting lineup. During the Final Four run in 1996, many will remember how he announced “Big Erick Dampier,” “Super D. Daryl Wilson,” and “The Sheriff of These Parts Russell Walters.”
Also there are not many that will forget a few years earlier the way he introduced former MSU forward and Starkville High School boys coach Greg Carter as “Silky Smooth Greg Carter.”
Flick was most known for his public address for men’s basketball games at Humphrey Coliseum and football games at Davis Wade Stadium. What many may not know is Flick enjoyed announcing track results at events held in Starkville over the years and took it very seriously.
The message of the Bulldogs was always delivered in a way only Flick could pull it off.
It was Flick’s “Mississippi State style.”

Danny P. Smith is the sports editor and columnist for The Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SDN or its staff.