NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College is honored to recognize Diane Sanders Flickner as its 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee. She will be recognized Friday, October 4th at 7pm during the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.
Diane Flickner retired, after 35 years of coaching, teaching and administration (she was athletic director, 1990-2011), in July of this year.
After beginning her teaching and coaching career at Buhler High School, Flickner (who married Dennis Flickner, longtime Newton High School teacher who also retired this year) came to Bethel in 1978, where her Thresher volleyball teams compiled a 400-147 overall record and a 169-21 KCAC record during her 11 years as coach.
During that time, they won eight of 11 KCAC Championships. Flickner's 1981 Bethel team was one of the best ever to compete for the Threshers, winning the 1981 KCAC Championship with a 16-0 conference record, earning national recognition as a Top 10 team in overall Division II rankings, winning the NAIA District 10 Tournament and placing third at the NAIA National Volleyball Tournament in Athens, W.Va.
After she became athletic director at Bethel in 1990, Flickner was honored numerous times as NAIA District 10 and KCAC Athletic Director of the Year. She was instrumental in developing and implementing Bethel's Champions of Character program for student-athletes.
Flickner was associate professor of health and physical education with teaching emphases in public school health and physical education, curriculum design, sport sociology and sport management.
Being at a Mennonite college yet unfamiliar with Mennonites back in 1978, Flickner recalled, she felt a bit like the proverbial fish out of water. But she adds without hesitation that she stayed so long because "Bethel is worth it," for many reasons.
Chief among these, she said, are the people she worked with over the years – from the Thresher Stadium design committee to the various coaches, from her colleagues in the health and physical education and athletic training departments and Faculty Welfare Committee to maintenance, administrative office and development staff ("I can't say enough about those who work behind the scenes").
"So many of those I worked with are gone [from Bethel] now," Flickner said. "That's what happens when you've been here so long. Brad [Born] and also John Sheriff were so helpful with advice and guidance on letting go when it's time."
In addition to people, Flickner says she'll remember "a joy of working here being 'doing more with less' and being creative. The fun things, like breaking Guinness world records and Booster Club activities.
"And finally, being a Thresher and being committed to Bethel College. I've had the best time of my life."
"As younger faculty come through at this time of year, interviewing for open positions, I think of … how rare it is to have 35 years at one institution," said President White at Flickner's farewell reception. "There are a lot of places [she] could have gone – to a bigger city or more money – but [she] gave her life to students at Bethel College.
"The impact of all those lives touched is awe-inspiring. Few people leave that kind of legacy."
The 2013 Bethel Hall of Fame Induction Banquet is open to the public. Tickets are available at the Bethel College Bookstore for a donation of any size. Dinner begins at 7pm with a fall sports review, a basketball preview, and the induction ceremony to follow. More information may be had by calling 316-284-5205
Booster Club Hall of Fame Induction will be available on webcast at http://www.ihigh.com/bethelthreshers/broadcast_315406.html?silverlight=1. If you are unable to attend, please tune in on-line as Diane Sanders Flickner is honored for her service to Bethel College.