The Rhode Island Rams football team has decided on their next head coach. According to a report from the South County Independent, Central Florida’s Jim Fleming will take over the vacancy at Rhody, replacing Joe Trainer. Fleming is the current defensive coordinator at UCF, and the Knights recently completed an 11-1 season in the AAC. They’re slated to take on Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1, but it’s unknown if Fleming will leave before that. The UCF Rivals site seems to think he will.
(GOL = USF head coach George O’Leary)
In addition to their 11-1 record, UCF more than excels on defense. They’ve allowed the 13th fewest points (19.6 per game) in the country this season, propelling them to 15th spot in the latest BCS standings. Fleming certainly deserves much of the credit for the Knights’ success on D. Before coming to Central Florida, Fleming had stints at Kent State, Akron, and North Carolina. His only other foray into head coaching came in 2000 when he took over the Sacred Heart Pioneers. Fleming led the D-II school to a 10-1 record in his first season as coach, and followed it up with an 11-0 season in 2001. Quick math says that’s a 21-1 record. So needless to say, it looks like the man can coach. In addition, Fleming is at least somewhat familiar with Rhode Island. He spent the 1993 season as the defensive coordinator for the Brown Bears, but left to take a job with ECU after just one year. All in all, this looks to be a stellar hire. URI seems committed to turning around the football program, and getting a solid coach in place takes care of step one. It’s unclear when the official announcement will come for this hire, but we’ll have an update when Fleming is introduced by the University.
It’s official. Fleming will be introduced on Monday.
Jim Fleming will be introduced as the 20th head coach in program history Monday, Dec. 23 at 10 a.m. http://t.co/PB2yj1uvz7 #RISE #CAAFB
— RhodyFootball (@RhodyFootball) December 20, 2013