Lenoir-Rhyne head baseball coach Tom Fleenor has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into misconduct.
Athletic director Kim Pate confirmed the decision Monday afternoon but didn’t provide any additional details.
“Lenoir-Rhyne University has placed head baseball coach Tom Fleenor on paid administrative leave,” Pate said in a statement. “Assistant coach Chaz Frank will handle the head coaching duties during this time. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Fleenor, who is in his sixth season as the university’s head coach, didn’t manage the Bears in their home doubleheader Saturday against Wingate. He has led the program to a 129-115 record over his first five seasons, during which time the Bears have gone 52-80 in South Atlantic Conference games and haven’t finished better than fifth in the league.
Fleenor was reached by telephone Monday afternoon but had no comment.
Former Lenoir-Rhyne athletic director Neill McGeachy hired Fleenor from USC Sumter in May 2013 to replace Paul Knight. Under Fleenor’s tutelage, Lenoir-Rhyne has produced six Major League Baseball draft picks in the past four seasons. That includes two picks in each of the past two years, with Justin Dean and Landon Whitson becoming the latest pros from Lenoir-Rhyne last summer.
In December, the program announced an 18-member signing class for the 2020 season that ranked fifth in Division II at the time. That class includes local talents Bryce Stober (Hickory High) and Andy Cook (Hickory Christian) as well as North Lincoln’s Joey Cobb.
Frank is in his second season on the Lenoir-Rhyne staff and is also listed as the team’s recruiting coordinator.
Lenoir-Rhyne enters Monday night’s series finale against Wingate with a 21-23 record, including a 7-13 mark in South Atlantic Conference play to sit in seventh in the league standings.