CEO CORNER: Mark Flynn
Mark Flynn is Chief Executive Officer of MWF Advisors, an investment advisory firm that serves emerging growth companies. His previous positions have included stints as president of GSV Capital, manager of Trilogy Capital Partners and chairman of The Preserve Company. MWF Advisors is located in Woodside.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM AND WHY?
That would be the St. John’s University Johnnies in Minnesota. I played football there for Coach John Gagliardi, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee who won 489 games in his career, more than any college coach in history. John taught me many things about life, most importantly that what happens off the field matters. After we won the 1976 Division III National Championship, a player asked John if we were the best team he’d ever coached? He said, “Let’s get together in 30 years and see the type of men you have become.” John coached until he was 86 and passed away in October at age 91 after developing great relationships with thousands of his players.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM FOLLOWING YOUR TEAM?
In that 1976 D3 championhip game, we led by 28-0 with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter. With 30 seconds remaining, the score was tied 28-28. We got the ball back, drove down the field and kicked a field goal on the final play. Secondly, in 2003, Gagliardi and the Johnnies were in the Division III championship game against powerhouse Mount Union. St. John’s was outweighed around 60 pounds per man on the line. Somehow, some way, SJU won, 21-7, in an epic battle.
IN YOUR MIND, WHAT IS IT ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL THAT MAKES IT SO COMPELLING AND EXCITING?
As a former player, you never forget the experience of being on a team, in the huddle, celebrating the victories and the deep horror of losses. They haunt you forever. Football teaches discipline, leadership and fosters love between players that is a bond for life. So once you leave the field and watch from the stands, yu never really leave the field. The game is a part of you forever!