BEREA, Ohio -- Retired and legendary Baldwin Wallace University wrestling coach Rich Fleming will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Cleveland Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April 14 at a banquet at the Harry's Steakhouse in Independence.
Fleming coached wrestling at BW for 23 seasons. He is the second winningest wrestling coach all-time with 153 career wins with his last season coming in 2010-2011. Only B-W, Greater Cleveland and Ohio wrestling coaching legend John Summa has more wins at BW.
Fleming has been a winner and committed to the sport of wrestling his entire life. During his 23-year Yellow Jacket coaching career, he produced a 153-259-6 career mark, including a 45-91-2 slate in the rugged Ohio Athletic Conference. But that was just a part of the success. More importantly, Fleming was well-known for wrestling against the best competition that Division III could offer his team, including at the Division III National Duals and at the Budd Whitehall Division III Duals (at Lycoming, Pa. College).
Fleming tutored 34 wrestlers to the NCAA Division III National Tournament, including 1989 NCAA Division III 177-pound national champion Kevin Higgins and two national runners-up.
During the final 10 seasons of his career, Fleming's team placed second at the OAC Championship Tournament three times, was nationally ranked during six seasons and produced six Div. III All-Americans. In 2006-2007, his team peaked at the right time and placed second at the 21st Annual John Summa Memorial Tournament, second at the OAC Tournament with three individual champions and was the top Ohio team at the Division III National Tournament.
As a wrestler, Fleming learned that it takes hard work to become a champion. His 123-pound Mid-American Conference title while at Miami University (Ohio) is evidence of that work ethic. Fleming is a 1963 graduate of Miami and earned his master's degree from Cleveland State University in 1985.
Prior to coming to BW, Fleming spent 18 years building a powerful program at nearby Parma Senior High School. When he retired as a high school teacher and coach, he decided to bring his talents to Berea and dedicate his time to building the Yellow Jacket program into one of the best in Division III.
Coach Fleming and his wife Linda still reside in Sagamore Hills and have two grown daughters.