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Eight years after his son's death, Rick Flick remains a central figure for UC football

Rick and Ben Flick
Posted at 10:41 PM, Dec 30, 2021

CINCINNATI — While Rick Flick's son never got the opportunity to fulfill his commitment to UC, Flick has remained a central figure for the Bearcats for the past eight years.

Hamilton High School alum Ben Flick died before ever playing a down for Cincinnati. The redshirt freshman was in the passenger seat of a car that crashed in Hanover Township in 2013. He and the driver, Sean Van Dyne, died.

While no one would fault the father for avoiding a team forever linked to his son's memory, Flick said he decided he wanted to fulfill his son's commitment.

Flick did whatever the team needed during Tommy Tuberville's tenure — and when Luke Fickell became the head coach in December 2016, Flick continued to help.

Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde spoke with Fickell about Flick's impact on the team earlier this week. The 2021 Dodd Trophy winner called Flick "the essence of what we want to be."

“We want to be about the guys who want to do the grunt work, be humble about what it is they’re doing," Fickell told SI. "He wasn’t recruited here and I didn’t know him, but he’s exactly what we want the culture of the program to be.”

Friday, Flick will be on the sideline with the Bearcats, and in a way, so will his son. As always, Flick will be wearing a bracelet honoring his late son.

"This bracelet has the inscription on it...it's what he tweeted: 'Be strong and courageous [for I am with you]," Flick said.

The quote comes from Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

"...and he's with his team," Flick said.

When asked what Flick does for the team, every single person involved in the program responded with "everything." Flick said he remains positive, knowing he would be in a darker space if it wasn't for his time taking care of the team.

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