Clarion Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Wendy Snodgrass announced today that Danielle Fleming has been hired as the head coach of the Golden Eagles’ women’s basketball program. Fleming comes to Clarion after three years as the head coach of Columbia International, where she was a two-time National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region Coach of the Year.
“I am pleased to welcome Danielle to Clarion as the leader of our women’s basketball program,” Snodgrass said. “Throughout the interview process her passion and enthusiasm for developing student-athletes was immediately noticeable, and her track record of success as both an assistant and a head coach reflect her ability to build a winning program. I am confident she will bring that same passion and enthusiasm to Tippin Gym as she connects with our team and our community.”
“I would like to thank Dr. Snodgrass and the members of the athletics administration for their leadership, support and belief in my vision and ability to lead the women’s basketball program at Clarion,” Fleming said. “This is truly a special campus, and I am excited to grow our program and work to ensure the best experience for our student-athletes on and off the court. I’m excited to be a Golden Eagle!”
In addition, Jermaine Cooper – who served as the interim head coach in 2022-23 – will transition to a role as an assistant coach, which he had previously held prior to last season.
Fleming had previously been the head coach at Columbia International since the 2020-21 season, and in that time led the Rams to becoming one of the preeminent programs in the region. Most recently CIU won a program-record 18 games in 2022-23, capping their third straight NCCAA South Region championship and part of their third-straight NCCAA national tournament appearance. In Fleming’s first year as the Rams’ head coach, the team improved by 12 wins from the year before, going 16-17 overall and 10-12 in conference play after winning just three conference games in 2019-20. In 2021 the Rams won their first-ever Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) tournament game, beating Milligan (Tenn.) 93-78.
CIU found more postseason success in the NCCAA South Region Tournament as they defeated both Erskine (S.C) and Carolina (N.C.) on their way to their first-ever South Region Championship. Fleming was named the NCCAA South Region Coach of the Year, the first CIU women’s basketball coach ever to receive the honor. The Rams had several players win individual awards as CIU had two players named All-AAC, three players named All-NCCAA South Region, and a player elected to the AAC All-Freshman Team.
Fleming continued to build off her team’s success in 2021-2022 with another 16-win season, as the Rams went 16-19 overall and 12-12 in the conference. The Rams found more postseason success, picking up an AAC Tournament road win when they upset Union College (Ky.) in the opening round. They went on to defeat Paine College to win their second consecutive NCCAA South Region title and secure a trip to the 2022 NCCAA National Championship Tournament. Her 2021-2022 squad also saw CIU women’s basketball’s first NCCAA All-American as graduate-student Teena Heston was bestowed with the honor following the season.
Fleming came to the Rams by way of Southern Arkansas, where she was the top women’s basketball assistant for two seasons. While with the Muleriders, Fleming contributed to the best turnaround in NCAA D-II, turning a 3-25 season in 2018-19 into a 17-12 season in 2019-20. Fleming also assisted in the player development of Kisi Young, who was named All-Great American Conference Honorable Mention.
Before her stint at Southern Arkansas, Fleming spent time in the Ohio high school ranks at both Licking Heights High School and The Wellington School. During the 2017-18 season at the helm of The Wellington School, Fleming steered her program to a 15-10 record and district semi-final appearance. In her time at Licking Heights, Fleming notched 29 wins over two seasons while leading the Hornets to their school record in wins in her first season. While at Licking Heights, Fleming coached multiple All-Conference and All-District players as well as a Conference Player of the Year.
As a player, Fleming had a highly successful career at Ohio Christian, where she garnered NCCAA Division II Player of the Year recognition in 2011. Fleming was named an NCCAA All-American First Team, the NCCAA Mid-East Region Co-Player of the Year, and All-OCAC First-Team. Most notably, Fleming led OCU to the 2011 NCCAA National Championship game during her junior season, falling just short of becoming a national champion.
Fleming graduated from Ohio Christian in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and then continued her education, receiving a Masters of Education with a Coaching emphasis from Northcentral University.D2