HOT: Fleming Named Head Coach at Northwest Nazarene

After an intensive and focused three-week search, Director of Athletics Kelli Lindley has announced that Scott Flemming is the new head men’s basketball coach at Northwest Nazarene University.

A two-time National Coach of the Year who led Mount Vernon Nazarene to a National Championship, Flemming brings not only a history of success at the college level, but was a former top assistant for the NBA D-League’s Texas Legends and takes over the Crusader program after spending the last three seasons as the head coach of the National Team of India.

“We are thrilled to welcome Scott to the NNU family,” Lindley said. “He is a proven winner who has experienced success at several different levels.

“It was clear throughout the search process that Scott has significant support and respect from his former players, co-workers, and staff,” NNU’s athletic director added. “We look forward to working with him as he ushers in a new era of excellence for NNU men’s basketball.”

Flemming begins his duties as head men’s basketball for the Crusaders on Monday, May 18. NNU Athletics will host a drop-in breakfast social for fans to meet the new head coach on Friday, May 22, between 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Johnson Sports Center on the NNU campus.

Scott Flemming

“Although I have very much enjoyed my recent coaching positions at the pro level and internationally, I still had a desire to get back to the college game,” Flemming said of returning to the U.S. to take over the NNU program. “The time I spent at several institutions similar to NNU were great days for myself and my family. I really look forward to being a part of the campus community at NNU while doing my best to make a positive impact on our players and the University as a whole.

“I saw this as a real challenge, which is not new to me, and something I thrive on,” Flemming added of building the Crusader program into a perennial Great Northwest Athletic Conference and NCAA power. “NNU is also a place that I can continue to integrate my faith and use it as a platform to share what God has done in my life and be a mentor to others.”

The veteran leader brings a career collegiate coaching record of 440-273 with him to Nampa, Idaho, a career that began in 1987 at NCAA Division II Nyack College (N.Y.), where Flemming spent three years as head coach and Athletic Director and led the Warriors to the National Christian College Athletic Association’s (NCCAA) National Tournament with a 20-13 record in his final season.

Flemming, a 1980 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio), then took over his alma mater’s program and led the Cougars to incredible success, compiling a 397-226 record, guiding MVNU to the NAIA Division I National Tournament eight times, and winning the NCCAA National Championship in 2000. He was named NAIA National Coach of the Year in 1998 and NCCAA National Coach of the Year in 2000.

“My many years at the college level have prepared me for coaching and mentoring student-athletes” Flemming said, adding, “it also has taught me to recruit aggressively yet systematically.

“And I have learned so much over the last five years, working in the NBA and then as a national team coach. I feel I have grown greatly in regards to player development and that will definitely benefit the players coming through our program at NNU,” Flemming added.

The NBA and international experience, along with the connections Flemming built over the past five years, will be an additional asset the new Crusader coach brings with him.

“This should be a great asset to our recruiting as well as offering opportunities to our players to take their game to the next level after college,” he said.

Which is exactly what Flemming did himself, stretching his success at Mount Vernon Nazarene beyond the hardwood as he served as the Cougars’ Athletic Director from 1990-2010 before being hired as the top assistant coach for the Legends, the minor-league affiliate of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

In two seasons on the professional sidelines, Flemming – who holds a Master degree in Communication from Wheaton College (Ill.) and Coaching from the United States Sports Academy (Ala.) – helped the Legends to a 48-52 overall record and to the NBA D-League playoffs following the 2010-11 season.

Continuing to build on his incredible success in college and professional coaching, Flemming was hired to guide the National Men’s Basketball Team of India in 2012, leading the team to the South Asia Championship in 2013 and 2014, and to the biggest victory in India basketball history when his team beat China, 65-58, in China in the 2014 FIBA Asia Cup.

So what can Crusader fans expected from this incredibly talented and versatile coach?

“Although you adapt depending on personnel, our fans will see an up-tempo offense that keeps pressure on our opponents in transition,” Flemming said of his teams’ style of play. “We will have a half-court offense that has structure, but will give our players freedom to be creative as well.

“We will build our defense from sound man-to-man, half-court fundamentals, which is very much dependent on all five players carrying out their assignments,” the new Crusader head coach added. “From there we will use multiple presses and zone concepts to compliment it.

“It will be my goal to build depth where we can use a 9- or 10-man rotation, keeping players fresh,” Flemming listed as one more key to his team’s play. “Playing hard and playing together will be our main focus.”

While Flemming won’t official begin his role as the Crusaders head man until a week from Monday, he has already begun working on the most important task at hand: Continuing to build on NNU’s successful run to the GNAC semifinals in 2014-15.

That starts with making sure all of NNU’s returners are on-board for the success yet to come for the Crusaders.

“I first need to do my best to retain as many of the present players I can at NNU and start building strong relationships with them,” Flemming said of his No. 1 prior as the new coach. “Although it is late, I will be busy trying to recruit players for this coming year, and even more so for the future.

“I will need to get a staff in place as soon as possible and start creating a vision for our program,” he added.

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