January 16, 2023 

St. Bonaventure parts ways with Jesse Fleming

Erica Morrow elevated to interim head coach

On Jan. 15, St. Bonaventure Athletics announced that it was parting ways with head coach Jesse Fleming. Fleming was in his seventh season at the helm and had amassed a 53-135 record, including 25-72 in Atlantic 10 play. This season, he went 3-17 overall and 0-5 in A-10 play. Under his leadership, the Bonnies never finished with more than five conference wins in a season. 

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Erica Morrow, who joined the program in June 2022 as an assistant coach, was elevated to interim head coach for the rest of this season.

“After an evaluation of our program, we have decided that now is the right time to make a change,” St. Bonaventure director of athletics Joe Manhertz said in a team-issued press release. “It is in the best interest of our program and our student-athletes to begin the transition process as we look to raise the level of Bonnies women’s basketball. We will conduct a national search for the next leader of our program, beginning immediately.” 

Morrow graduated from Syracuse in 2011 as the second-leading scorer in program history and served as graduate assistant manager and then director of basketball operations for the Orange until May 2013. She went on to play professionally in Switzerland and Luxembourg, serving as a player-coach during her tenure at Amicale Steesel in Luxembourg. As part of her coaching responsibilities, she scouted, did film breakdowns, and organized and ran practices. In December 2020, she returned to Syracuse as an assistant coach and worked with the guards.

The Bonnies have not made the postseason since 2016, when they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The program made the Sweet Sixteen in its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012. 

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After this season, St. Bonaventure may hesitate to promote internally and instead look to bring in a new perspective. Fleming was hired after serving as an assistant coach and associate head coach at Bowling Green, but he had previously spent 11 years with the Bonnies as a student manager, assistant coach and associate head coach. 

St. Bonaventure should look for an offensive-minded head coach. The team has finished in the bottom three in the A-10 in scoring in each of the last three seasons and is last this season, averaging just 50.2 points per game. To add depth and build a strong incoming class to support the coaching transition, the athletic department should also add a head coach with strong recruiting experience. 

The Bonnies continue their hunt for their first conference win and first win under Morrow at home against Dayton on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. ET.

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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