Fleming returns to Averett as head coach

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DANVILLE, Va. — Averett University Director of Athletics Meg Stevens proudly announced Monday the hiring of Kenny Fleming '15/'17 as the new baseball head coach. Fleming returns to Averett after serving as an assistant coach at Division I Army West Point during the 2018 season.

"I'm thrilled to come back to Averett and lead the baseball program," Fleming said. "I love the Averett family and Danville community. To return to a place where I graduated from and coached at is special."

Fleming previously coached three seasons with the Cougars, beginning as a student assistant in 2015 and coaching two seasons as a graduate assistant during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He becomes the fourth coach in Averett baseball history, taking over a program with more than 200 wins and a conference championship in 23 years of varsity play.

"The goal of our program is to embody the '3-2-1' philosophy of Averett athletics with our players graduating with above a 3.0 grade point average, hopefully winning a few rings and being upstanding members of the Averett and Danville community," Fleming said.

A native of Louisa, Virginia, Fleming has a wealth of baseball knowledge after playing collegiately and professionally. A 30th-round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2010, Fleming played two seasons in the outfield for the organization's rookie league affiliate Danville Braves alongside his younger brother, Kurt. Fleming played 100 games over two seasons in the Appalachian League.

Prior to his pro career, Fleming played one season at Division I Texas Tech University, where he started as a true freshman in 2009. He then played at Shelton State Community College, where he batted .325 before being drafted by the Braves. Fleming also batted .527 as an all-state selection during his senior season at Louisa County High School in 2008.

Fleming enrolled at Averett in 2013 and played as a linebacker on the Cougars' football team during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, where he recorded 29 tackles and one fumble recovery. Following his final football season at Averett, he joined the Cougars' baseball as a student assistant coach in the spring of 2015 while he finished his bachelor's degree in history. Fleming remained at Averett as an assistant coach for two seasons while earning his master's of business administration from the university.

After finishing his master's degree from Averett, Fleming joined the coaching staff at Army West Point in August 2017, where he has helped the Black Knights program surge to the top of the Patriot League standings after being picked fifth in the preseason. As of Monday, Army West Point is 26-19 overall with a 15-6 conference mark.

"We are excited to have Kenny return to Averett as our new baseball head coach," Stevens said. "His time at Army West Point has allowed him to continue to develop and grow professionally. Kenny's enthusiasm and knowledge of the game and of Averett make him a great fit to lead our program."

Fleming said his time on Army West Point head coach Jim Foster's staff has helped him gain additional knowledge of game management and administrative duties. As the Black Knights have progressed and returned to the top of the league standings, it has also helped show Fleming how to help players prosper when opportunities arise — something that he believes can translate to Averett's program.

"I want to help our student-athletes at Averett not only succeed in classroom and on field, but also as mature young men," Fleming said.

Fleming comes from a baseball family. In addition to playing professionally himself, Fleming's father Steve played for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization before becoming a scout at the major league level. His oldest brother, Kyle, played at Army from 2005-09 and currently works in the Toronto Blue Jays organization. And his younger brother Kurt played minor league baseball for several seasons.

"We couldn't be more pleased to have Coach Fleming return to Averett," Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks said. "While he was here as an assistant coach, he built an outstanding rapport with our players and we believe he the vision and plan to continue the positive direction of our baseball program."