Fleming has been selected to enter the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. His induction will take place next June in Columbus.
The former four-sport Shadyside prep standout was previously inducted into the OVAC Hall of Fame.
“It is a very humbling honor. It is an extremely special award,” Fleming said. “You don’t go into coaching for honors or awards. It is about helping kids grow and become men.
“This honor is a result of all my players and staff,” the former Kent State hoopster added. “They both have been very loyal and committed.”
Fleming recorded an overall 165-92 record as a head football coach, the last 22 seasons coming at his alma mater. He served one season (1978) as the St. John Central head grid coach, guiding the Irish to a 7-3 mark, including the final win in SJC history against Guernsey Street rival Bellaire.
Fleming enjoyed two successful stints of duty at the Shadyside football helm.
He first guided the Tigers from 1980-91, capturing a pair of OVAC championships (1982 and 1989). The Orange & Black made two state playoff appearances during that span: 1989 and 1991. The 1989 team reached the regional title game, bowing to eventual state runner-up McDonald.
Fleming returned in 1999 and coached through 2008. It was a 10-year run of Tiger grid greatness.
Fleming led the Tigers to a sparkling 89-24 mark during that decade, gaining eight more playoff appearances while claiming regional titles in 2000 and 2006. The 2006 juggernaut reached the Division VI state championship game, bowing to perennial state power Maria Stein Marion Local (17-0).
Fleming’s charges also pocketed OVAC crowns in 2002, 2003 and 2007. His overall Shadyside record was 158-89, marking the most grid wins in school annals.
“We pushed our players hard. We knew we had to be in better shape than our opponents because we were smaller and had to be in better condition in the fourth quarter,” Fleming said. “But our kids always took to our coaching and responded well. They always stepped up.
“Losing hurts. You learn a lot more in your loses than in your wins,” he added. “There is really no one game that really stands out for me. We were involved in a lot of big games with a lot of great players.”
Fleming cut his coaching teeth in 1971-72 as a football and basketball assistant at Newton Falls. That one-year gig helped him land a teaching and grid assistant’s job at Bellaire High, serving the Big Reds from 1972-74.
His next move was a short walk across Guernsey Street as Fleming was named St. John Central boys’ basketball coach in 1974, a position he held for five successful seasons. He left the All-American Town to become head boys’ basketball coach at Woodridge High.
Fleming stayed just one year at the Akron school, returning to Shadyside to become head football coach. During his time with the Tigers, he also coached track and girls basketball while also serving as the school’s athletic director for 10 years.
Fleming was a two-time Ohio Valley ‘Coach of the Year’ honoree and the 2000 recipient of the Carl Hamill Award from the Dapper Dan Club of the Upper Ohio Valley.
“What I miss most about coaching are the practices more-so than the games. In practice is where you have time to build bonds and camaraderie with your players,”Fleming said. “I have been very fortunate to coach at Shadyside. It is a great community that supports our teams, win or lose. There is a lot of pride in Shadyside.”