Thursday, March 17, 2011

Five Minutes With ...

Throughout the 2010-11 academic year, the North Coast Athletic Conference will give you an in-depth look into the lives of the student-athletes, administrators and faculty members of the conference who epitomize what it means to compete, study and educate at the NCAA Div. III level. We hope that this feature will help people gain a better understanding of why individuals have decided to make NCAA Div. III a cornerstone of their life.


Name/Institution: Steve Fleming/Hiram College

Title: Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Education: Masters in Sports Administration (Kent State)
Undergraduate (Hiram)

• Why did you choose to work at a NCAA Division III institution?

SF: I enjoy the relationships you are able to develop with student-athletes, faculty, administrators and students. I also enjoy mentoring young men as they navigate through the ups and downs academically, socially and athletically.

• If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?

SF: I would like to trade places with David Petraeus and marvel at the young men and women who dedicate themselves to protect our freedom.

• How would you most accurately describe or define the ideals on which the NCAA Div. III was founded?

SF: Division III is founded on the idea of developing the consummate student-athlete. The academic demands are embraced, while at the same time, pursuing their passion to participate in intercollegiate sports. Guiding each student-athlete through this process is exciting and challenge each and every year.

• People may be surprised to know that ……

SF: I have 3 wonderful girls that include a set of twins.

• How has your experience been in making sure that student-athletes have a proper balance among athletics and academics at Hiram?

SF: As I said earlier, it is both exciting and challenging each year. However, watching student-athletes navigate through with the help of faculty, staff and administrators, is what makes the job so gratifying. There are so many people on campus that share the same enthusiasm to give young people the opportunity to succeed.

• If you are stranded on an island, you would like to be with ……

SF: my family.

• Are there any major obstacles that you’ve had to overcome when dealing with Div. III athletics?

SF: I don’t think there are any major issues. There are always some obstacles along the way, but that is what life is about; solving problems and persevering. As a coach it is important to mentor and model handling a few bumps in the road.

• Do you have any hidden talents that very few people know about?

SF: I don’t know if it is a talent, but I enjoy playing golf.

• How did your collegiate experience help to prepare you to be an administrator at the Div. III level?

SF: I had such a wonderful collegiate experience at Hiram on and off the court. As a coach, I want each one of my players to be able to reflect upon their collegiate experience the same way.

• What has been your most memorable moment in your administrative career at Hiram?

SF: Developing relationships with my players and watching them graduate.

• What are the toughest issues facing Div. III athletes in today’s world?

SF: I think the economy is affecting all students and their ability to attend Division III institutions.

• What’s currently playing on your I-Pod?

SF: Songs from the 80’s &90’s. Also my kids have put some of their songs on my I-Pod.

• What do you feel are the most rewarding aspects of being a college administrator at the Div. III level, and what may be some of the least rewarding aspects of the job?

SF: Without question, the most rewarding part is watching young men have a memorable experience on and off the court. In addition, watching these same young men become productive citizens. I’m not sure there is a least rewarding part. I can tell you there are some things you may not necessary enjoy doing all the time, like laundry, but if you want things to get done you find a way.

• What is your most prized possession?

SF: My wife and kids.

• What are some of the life lessons that you believe student athletes can learn by competing at the Div. III level?

SF: Intercollegiate athletics provides a vehicle to teach numerous life lessons. For example, accountability, perseverance, respect, unselfishness, loyalty, tenacity and being apart of something bigger than yourself are a few.

• What would be your advice for someone that is considering enrolling as a student-athlete at a NCAA Div. III institution?

SF: I would encourage prospective student-athletes to visit a variety of institutions, get a feel for each and find the right fit academically, socially and athletically.

• How would you best describe your normal day as an administrator at the Div. III level?

SF: It varies based on the time of year. During our season the days are longer due to practice, watching film of upcoming opponents, watching film of our team and recruiting. In addition, you always have player issues that come up from time to time. When we are not in season, you have some more flexibility, but recruiting is a very time consuming process. Lastly, I always try to find time to workout.

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