Every team needs players who are able to lead the way and push the team toward the finish line of games and seasons.
On most teams, the quarterback is charged with leadership responsibility, but Parker Fleming, assistant coach and offensive coordinator, has taken over instead.
After coaching wide receivers and special teams last season, Fleming has taken on the task of taking over an offense that was ranked one of the worst in the country last season.
“I was a sophomore in college when I really thought about coaching,” Fleming said. “I had a coach that was really good, came in and saw things the way I did. Saw what it means to families, to young men, to different people everywhere and he just shared his light and his vision and I really appreciated that. He kind of let me take over a little of that mentality in college.”
Fleming was a three-year letterman playing quarterback at Presbyterian College, a Division I FCS University competing in the Big South Conference in South Carolina. After college, Fleming went back home to start his coaching career.
“My first job right out of college, I was at Decatur High School. That was my high school. I went back and coached the quarterbacks there,” Fleming said. “I ran the JV team too. It was a lot of fun and good experience too because I got to be up on Friday night, but on Thursdays or Saturdays, depending on the schedule, I got to run my own team. That was a lot of fun and coach gave me a lot of freedom to do my own thing. It was a really good start to what I wanted to do.”
After only a year at the high school level, Fleming was able to move up to college, adding one year at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio before getting his coaching break.
“I caught a good break when I got a graduate assistant position at Ohio State,” Fleming said. “I got a really good opportunity. Being a graduate assistant at Ohio State, the timing was just perfect and I got to work with a bunch of really great guys, like Coach (Zak) Kuhr when he was at Ohio State. That is one of the main reasons we’ve taken this path together.”
At Ohio State, Flemings met Texas State Head Coach Everett Withers and followed him along with some other younger coaches to James Madison before finally coming to Texas State.
“The timing has been really good and I’ve been really lucky in this whole thing,” Fleming said.
This season, the Bobcats look to capitalize on Damian Williams, graduate quarterback, and a new system put in place to capitalize on what the team does best.
“We’re a spread tempo team, but we realize we need to have multiple personal packages, and multiple tempos based on what they give us,” Fleming said. “We’re not going to have one identity and go we’re going to have whatever we need to gain an advantage on the defense.”
Fleming, in only one full season at Texas State, has already started to leave his mark. Now, with year two already started, it’s easy to see what his favorite part of the job is.
“The camaraderie, the unity. Our coaching staff. We have a really good staff,” Fleming said. “I enjoy all of them. We have a football team that is enjoyable to be around.”