Fleck named new football coach for Golden Gophers

January 9, 2017
P.J. Fleck speaks at a news conference.

The University of Minnesota announced January 6 that P.J. (Phillip John) Fleck will be its new head football coach.  The U and Fleck agreed to a five-year contract.

The charismatic and energetic Fleck, 36, comes to Dinkytown after four years as head coach of Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference. Fleck orchestrated a remarkable turnaround there, taking the Broncos from a 1-11 record in his first year (2013) to a perfect 13-0 record, MAC championship, and top-20 ranking in 2016 before losing to Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.

Western Michigan beat both Northwestern and Illinois from the Big Ten this year, and Fleck was named MAC Coach of the Year in both 2014 and 2016.

"I look forward to meeting my new players and getting to know them as quickly as possible,” Fleck said after his hiring. “I am excited to put together a staff and turn my efforts to recruiting, but also want Gopher fans to know that my wife, Heather, and I and our four children will be visible in the community and we are eager to connect with them. I am ready to go. Ski-U-Mah!"