In celebration of Arizona's centennial, the Star will feature our picks for the 100 best athletes, moments and teams.
Throughout the summer, we will showcase our list - with the first 90 in no particular order. In August, columnist Greg Hansen will choose his top 10, with a column on each.
Flippen was a four-sport star at Phoenix Union High School who is perhaps best known for leading the Coyotes' "Wonder Team" to a 13-0 football season and a mythical national championship in 1930. "Flip" played quarterback and defensive back.
He also starred in basketball, earning state Player of the Year honors as a senior, and was a three-time all-state infielder in baseball. He was one of the state's top broad-jumpers in track.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 165-pound Flippen played one season at the University of Notre Dame and at Phoenix College before embarking on a minor-league baseball playing and coaching career that lasted six years.
Flippen earned national acclaim later in life for his play as an infielder/outfielder with the Funk Jewels of Phoenix, one of the country's most colorful and competitive fast-pitch softball teams.
Flippen, who died Dec. 8, 1983, at age 71, was an inaugural inductee in the Arizona High School Sports Hall of Fame and a 1975 inductee into the Arizona Softball Association Hall of Fame.
Many still consider Flippen the best all-around athlete to ever come out of the state.
By the numbers
Flippen set a state record with 303 rushing yards against Tucson High School in 1930. Phoenix Union's win over the Badgers avenged the previous season's state title loss to Southern Arizona's premier high school football program.