By Ezra Gennello, staff writer.
Coaching at the NCAA level is a tough job. Hours of film, practice prep, game prep, travel, and so much more to ensure your team is not only performing well, but also happy. While some coaches find one team to be enough, Brittany Fleck took on a nearly impossible job: coach two teams at one time. The Franklin Pierce University field hockey assistant coach volunteered to help out with the volleyball team as well, when a position opened up on the coaching staff this fall.
After a few coaching jobs and four years on the NCAA Division I field hockey team at the University of Maine, Fleck joined her former UMaine teammate and Ravens head field hockey coach Zoe Adkins at Franklin Pierce in 2017 as an assistant coach. Three years later, she finds herself with the added responsibility of helping the volleyball team too.
The last-minute assistant-coach vacancy came a week into the volleyball preseason, which left head volleyball coach Stephanie Dragan scrambling to fill the spot with few outside options available. Internally, Fleck wound up as the obvious choice, with her background of playing volleyball in high school. With the seasons interlocking, Fleck made the switch to field hockey after being left off of the volleyball roster in her ninth-grade year. Little did she know, years later, she would be able to be a part of both sports at the same time. As for how she enjoys the task of two teams, Fleck said, “I love it. It’s busy, and I never know who we are playing on what day… but I love it.” She enjoys it so much, she said she would even add a third sport to the mix.
The players love the fact Fleck took on the second sport and continues to do everything she does for the teams. Senior field hockey co-captain Jessica Strassburg said, “She is still an awesome coach and brings so much energy.” She added later, “Having a coach that helps multiple sports is a cool bridge between sports.”
Strassburg was joined by fellow senior co-captain Allison Collins and their sophomore teammate Julianne Sacco when praising their coach. “Britt Fleck is always on her feet supporting both us and volleyball,” said Sacco. “She is one of the most committed coaches I have ever had and brings incredible energy.”
Collins added, “We appreciate everything she does for our program and admire her for all she brings to Franklin Pierce athletics.”
The volleyball players had lots of praise for their new assistant coach as well. Senior Abigail Garnhart mentioned the appreciation from the whole team when saying, “We appreciate all of her commitment to us and respect her for balancing both teams so well.” Garnhart also spoke about what coach Fleck brings to the table: “She always brings so much energy on the bench at games, which definitely makes a difference out on the court.”
Along with Garnhart was fellow volleyball senior Jocelyn Moody, who added on to the growing list of compliments by saying, “She always has a positive attitude and hypes us up so much. We love having her around. She brings a great energy to the gym.”
While the players all praised Fleck’s amazing energy, Adkins went deeper into what her assistant brings to the table. “She is an incredibly passionate and competitive individual who brings insight to our program every day,” said Adkins. “She is someone I know I can trust and rely on to work with [assistant coach] Danielle [Harris] and I to continue to push the standards and expectations of the Franklin Pierce University field hockey program.”
With the field hockey season recently concluded and volleyball season coming to a close within the next month, coach Fleck will have some much-deserved free time. She’ll hope the free time doesn’t come too soon however. With field hockey having returned to the postseason and volleyball within shouting distance of a Northeast-10 Championship berth as well, Fleck could do more than just coach two teams in one season: she could help two teams to the playoffs as well.