Growing up on Oak Street in Braintree, Andy Fleming, Class of 1993, lived right around the corner from Williams Memorial Field. His soccer games, however, were played on the grassy fields of East Middle School, back in the early 90’s, when the AW soccer program was just finding its feet. Although Andy’s playing days lacked artificial turf and games played under the lights, he had something more important to bring his game to its highest level – he had passion.
Andy’s passion was legendary. Anyone who knew him or saw Andy play knew he lived and breathed soccer. Whenever asked by a teacher that traditional question: “What do you want to be when you grow up” or “What is a dream that you dream?” Andy’s response never wavered. He wanted a life with soccer at its core. And the pretty wonderful thing is that is exactly the life he crafted for himself.
First, he brought his game to a level that earned him a full ride to Marist College to play Division 1 soccer. Post college graduation, Andy pursued college coaching positions and was willing to coach at BU, with no salary, but a pay out of experience and recognition. In 2007, Andy moved on to Northwestern University and contributed to Wildcat soccer for three years. In 2010, Fleming was a appointed Head coach of Division 1 Xavier’s Men’s soccer and has become the winningest coach in its history. This season, Xavier is ranked 25th by the NCAA.
At a recent match, Xavier vs Providence College, Andy’s family was their to cheer him and the Musketeers on: his Mom, Dad Bill, ’58, brother Chris,’95, and sister Carly, ’98. Chris summed up Andy’s success. “Even as a kid, Andy was a “program guy”. He looked at things and thought how can I make this better? He was instrumental to the Archie’s program growing and getting noticed. That never stopped for Andy – it’s why he is where he is today. He’s a Head coach. It doesn’t get better than that!”
So Bishop soccer moms and dads, when your athlete dreams of soccer greatness, share Andy’s story with them. A dream realized because of determination and tenacity and the ability to dream big.
**also check out DEVINS TEAM. Developed by Andy and his wife, Amy, and named for their daughter, Devin, who has Downs Syndrome, Devins Team has brought together the Xavier community and the Cincinnati community at large, to raise awareness and funds for the Downs Syndrome community. Go Devin!!