The thought of leaving his job had been in the back of Joe Fleming's mind for some time. But the Broad Run High School athletic director didn't come to a firm decision until he talked to his children last week.
That's when Fleming made what he called "a very difficult decision": He would leave the Ashburn school to take a position with TV onthe WEB, which bills itself as "the first interactive, community-based television network on the Web." Fleming will produce the National Youth Sports Channel for the Reston-based company.
"I have a very young family, and I've spent a lot of time away from my family," Fleming said. He and his wife, Leslie, have a 7-year-old son, Cullen, and 5-year-old daughter, Mackenzie.
"Broad Run has been a big part of my kids' lives -- they think that the Spartans are the best teams in the world," Fleming said. "But I sat them down and asked them what they thought if daddy took a job that would allow him to be home at night. My son ran over and hugged me and said, `We could play ball together every night.' That sealed the decision."
The school is beginning the process of hiring a new athletic director. The vacancy must be posted for two weeks before candidates can be interviewed.
Fleming, 36, spent six years as Broad Run's athletic director. Previously, he worked as an assistant athletic director at McLean and as a social studies teacher and coach at Centreville.
According to a news release, the Youth Sports Channel is "dedicated as a venue for the youth sports community. . . . Its goal is to reach `Internet Generation' athletes, providing them with visibility through demo-reels on-line and educational outreach opportunities."
Fleming said he hopes the Web site will be a kind of "one stop network," where people can access anything from training videos for various sports to live broadcasts of coaching clinics.
"I'll still be involved with youth sports, and I'll still have contact with athletes and coaches," Fleming said. "It'll just be in a different arena."