• 11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
  • 32 NCAA Div. III individual championships
  • 176 Iowa Conference titles
  • 23 Iowa Conference all-sports titles
Joe's photo

Joe Flaherty

Senior, football

(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)

Hometown: Burlington, Iowa

High School: Burlington

Why Central?
My brother was already here, so I had been on campus several times. As I visited other schools, I always compared it back to Central and nowhere else compared to here. Central also maintains a faith-based atmosphere which was important to me, as well. 

You are majoring in Social Science because…
I chose Social Science as my major because it is the perfect combination of history and government, which have always been two of my biggest interests.

Who is your favorite professor and why?
Sam Mate-Kodjo, who I was lucky enough to have four semesters, is my favorite professor I’ve had in my four years here. He made Spanish interesting for me, so much so that I actually picked it up as a minor so that I could keep taking more classes with him! 

What was your favorite class and why?
I’ve truly enjoyed all of my history classes, especially Civil War Seminar with Mark Barloon and American Sports History with Lori Witt. That being said, I’m really counting on my Senior Seminar next semester about Disney to be a great class.

What do you love most about being a member of the Central Dutch football team?
The best parts of being a member of this team have been twofold. Obviously being in the locker room after finishing off big victories are things that I will never forget. But some of the best memories with my teammates have been off the field, like going to Southern Texas to serve with many of them on Campus Ministries, football team Bible studies and even just hanging out in the dorms have allowed for me to gain close relationships with many of my teammates.

What was the best thing about playing collegiate football with your brother (Jack, ’13)?
It was especially nice having him my first year at school. I was overwhelmed by the time commitment that is required in playing college football. If it wasn’t for him I don’t know how I would have done it. Playing another three years together past high school was a blessing that I probably didn’t fully understand until the first practice without him this year, seeing someone else wearing his old practice jersey. Unfortunately, he wore that dainty blue jersey during practice, and he was too scared to play defense in the alumni game earlier this year so we haven’t gone head-to-head since high school probably. I would feel bad if I hurt him, but if his wife gives me permission, I’d take him on one-on-one (Jack, whenever you read this, you are indeed being called out).

What is the biggest misconception about offensive linemen?
I’d really like to say that all stereotypes about all people inaccurate, but I’m not sure I could realistically argue that. For the most part we all fit a lot of the stereotypes.

What is one thing people do not know about offensive line coach Eric Jones?
He might know something that the rest of us don’t, but if you ask him, every football team is actually called the Bobcats and not whatever they pretend to be called.

What is your favorite activity to do in your free time and why?
I do enjoy free reading when I’m not overloaded with reading for school. However, my favorite hobby is actually collecting football and baseball cards, which I’ve done since I was five. I’m closing in on 10,000 in my collection. My grandparents got me started when I was pretty young, and I’ve just never stopped.

What is the best part about your work study position in the sports information office?
The best part of the A-team has been learning the ropes from Larry, Lara and Jacob on what it takes to be successful in the field of sports information. The amount of hours they spend in the office would be unthinkable to some people, but they do it because they want Central athletics to be represented to its fullest.

What is your dream job and why?
I think continuing to work in a sports information related field would be ideal. I would be especially happy if I could get a job in a professional sport, such as the NFL or MLB.

What is your favorite NFL team and why?
I’m slowly becoming a diehard Chicago Bears fan, which clearly means that I’m getting wiser as I get older. It also means that I have bragging rights for a few weeks at least over all the fans of that team with the ugly green and yellow uniforms that I live with. I also root for the New England Patriots because of my family’s connection to the Boston area.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
My favorite players of all time are Walter Payton, Kurt Warner and Tim Tebow. Walter is the best running back of all time in my opinion, and I admire Warner and Tebow for their courage in using their NFL success as a platform for their faith. If I was to pick a favorite player who is currently on an NFL roster, it would honestly probably be Robbie Gould, because he is the most consistent Bears player.

Who is the one person, past or present, that you’d like to have lunch with and why?
I would want to have lunch with my Grandpa Flaherty, who died when I was fairly young. I never really got to know him, but I would love to listen to his stories of playing high school football in Massachusetts and his one year at Holy Cross University. He had to quit school to join World War II, where he fought in Africa and Europe. Being a history buff, I would love to hear stories from someone who was actually in those battles that I’ve read about my whole life.

Bucket list (list items that you want to do/accomplish in your life)
1. Attend a Miami Marlins game at Marlins Park
2. Watch the Bears beat the Packers at Soldier Field
3. Attend the Final Four and the NCAA National Championship Game for football
4. See Central football win a national title
5. Get married and raise kids who want to live their lives for God in everything they do


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