Denis Flood was a Southeast Conference (SEC) track champion and decorated former Marine, who served in Vietnam from 1967-68, was severely wounded, and ran for the Marine varsity cross country and track teams. In the decades since, he served as a Naval Intelligence Officer and a contractor in the Middle East.
He was discharged from the USMC in 1969 and went directly to the University of Tennessee where he walked onto the track team. "It was a total and complete shock to my fragile psyche," he says, "I went from carrying bodies in combat to carrying a baton around a track."
UT had great runners during Floodâ€™s time there in all the events and had won the Southeastern Conference Championship continually for years. He recalls, "They were thick with middle distance runners, which was my specialty. Coach Rohe told me that if I performed well in practice and in the meets I could compete in, he would consider me for some type of scholarship. That sounded like a fair deal to me." Flood went on to earn that scholarship.
At some point following his graduation from the University of Tennessee in 1973, Denis did some coaching. He tells about it in his own words: