Rhode Island tabs UCF assistant Fleming football coach

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Kingston, RI (SportsNetwork.com) - The University of Rhode Island announced the hiring of Central Florida defensive coordinator Jim Fleming as its new head football coach on Friday.

Fleming, who will be introduced Monday at a news conference on campus, replaces Joe Trainer, who was fired Nov. 18 with one year remaining on his contract.

"We are thrilled to bring a coach as high caliber as Jim Fleming to Rhode Island," URI athletic director Thorr Bjorn said. "Jim has a tremendous track record of building winners over his 27-year career, and we are very excited that he will be our next head coach."

Fleming becomes the 20th head coach in URI history. He has been Central Florida's defensive coordinator for the last two seasons, and has helped the Knights earn a spot in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day.

Fleming was the head coach at Sacred Heart in 2000 and '01, winning a pair of Northeast Conference titles while compiling a 21-1 record, including 11-0 in 2001 when the Pioneers claimed the inaugural Sports Network Cup. He also has been an assistant coach at Kent State, Akron, North Carolina, Villanova, East Carolina, Boise State, Brown and South Carolina, where he was a graduate assistant.

He was both a football and baseball player at the University of the South, graduating in 1982.

URI finished 3-9 this year and 12-44 in five seasons under Trainer. The record included an 8-32 mark in CAA Football games.