Fleming to lead Mater Dei athletics 

By John Rohlf

The Message Assistant Editor

For a video with comments from Fleming and  Joe Herrmann, click here

Sam Fleming

Fifteen years after concluding his time at Mater Dei High School as a student, Sam Fleming is returning to the Evansville school to lead their athletics department.

A 2009 graduate of Mater Dei, Fleming was appointed as the school’s Athletic Director, effective April 1.

“When I started studying sports management out at USI (University of Southern Indiana), that was the top job in the area was Mater Dei Athletic Director,” Fleming said. “I saw it. I had been telling some buddies. They sent me the Facebook post … I applied to it and lucky enough, got it.”

Fleming also was an assistant coach for the Mater Dei baseball team from 2013-2016 and helped coach them to a state runner-up finish.

Fleming comes to Mater Dei after working for the past 2.5 years as the Athletic Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club in Evansville. Fleming said they have a great program, adding he plans to try to stay connected and volunteer there. He said he made some good relationships with the staff and the members there, while also stressing it helped prepare him for this role.

“That kind of really helped me expand on not just the maintenance side which I had been doing but also the planning, the scheduling and all of that,” Fleming said. “I think that really kind of rounded out my working experience to help me get this position here.”

Fleming replaces Joe Herrmann, who has been the Mater Dei Athletic Director for the past 21 years. Herrmann said in March that Fleming’s adjustment to the role will be different than Herrmann’s because the outgoing Athletic Director was there for several years as Herrmann adjusted to the role. Herrmann plans to have multiple months of overlap with Fleming to help with training.

“I’ll have four or five months with Sam and we’ll try to cram as much in as we can,” Herrmann said in March. “But there will be questions. And he’ll learn real quick to pick up the phone. Whether it’s me or the other Athletic Directors in the city, in the conference.”

Fleming said it is impressive what Herrmann has done for Mater Dei athletics over the past 20 years. He said he is trying to learn as much as he can from Herrmann prior to Herrmann’s departure.

Fleming said the possibility of Herrmann staying for multiple months to help train Fleming was mentioned as a possibility, an opportunity that Fleming embraced.

“Joe’s been doing it forever,” Fleming said. “Just to be able to have those few months to see this is how this goes. Maybe he does it this way. Maybe I can try this. Bouncing ideas back and forth off him too … It’s huge.”

Like Fleming, Herrmann is also a graduate of Mater Dei. Herrmann said that Fleming applying for and accepting the job as the school’s next Athletic Director shows he wants to be at Mater Dei and wants to come back to the school.

“He enjoyed his time here or else he wouldn’t want to come back to this job,” Herrmann said. “His brothers went to school here. Grew up in the feeder school system. He came back. He coached a few years here. He’s a Mater Dei kid. He wants to be here and he wants to give his time and talents back to the school.”