Columbia International University Athletics Director James Whitaker has announced the hiring of Danielle Fleming as the CIU head women’s basketball coach.
“We are so excited to have Danielle Fleming as our new women’s basketball coach. Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and her love for basketball, for her players, and for the Lord make her the perfect choice for our next women’s basketball coach. She is exactly what CIU women’s basketball needs right now, and I’m confident that she will build a championship culture within our program very quickly.” commented Whitaker.
Fleming will be the third head coach in program history and comes to the Rams by way of Southern Arkansas University (NCAA DII), where she has been the top women’s basketball assistant for the past two seasons. While with the Muleriders, Fleming contributed to the best turnaround in NCAA DII, 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 this past season.
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.
Fleming also spent time on the sidelines for the Ohio Red AAU basketball team and worked with the Buckeye Leadership Institute.
In addition to her coaching duties, Fleming has enjoyed time on the board of the Girls Leadership Basketball Academy (GLBA). The GLBA uses basketball as a way to help develop leadership skills in female athletes to help them succeed on the court, in the classroom and life. Flemings’ primary duties with GLBA entailed been a Basketball Skill Development Coach.
As a player, Fleming had a highly successful career at fellow NCCAA school Ohio Christian University 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, however, Fleming led OCU to the 2011 NCCAA National Championship game during her junior season, falling just short of becoming a national champion.
Coach Fleming spoke on her hiring, saying, “I am truly blessed and honored to be the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Columbia International University. Thank you to President Mark Smith, Athletic Director James Whitaker, and the administration at CIU for their trust and faith in me to lead this program. I couldn’t be more excited to build a culture of excellence with our current and future players. To God, be the glory and go Rams!”
Fleming graduated from Ohio Christian in 2012 with a BA in Psychology and will be joined in her coaching endeavors by her husband, Daron, who will serve the Rams as an assistant coach.
Photo Courtesy CIU AthleticsCIU NAIA