Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

P.J. Fleck is the new Gophers football coach

P.J. Fleck took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl and appears to be the new head coach of the Gophers.

P.J. Fleck will be on a flight from Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Minneapolis today where he'll be introduced as the new head coach of Golden Gophers football at 3 p.m.

"P.J. is a proven winner and a strong leader," Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said in a statement. "He's built a unique, positive culture that gets the best out of his students on the field and in the classroom. His infectious energy and passion make him a terrific coach and dynamic recruiter. I am excited he will be leading the Gophers for years to come."

Fleck, 36, is fresh off a Cotton Bowl loss to Wisconsin as his Western Michigan Broncos finished the 2016 season 13-1 and will likely be in the final top 25 polls.

He has a storm’s energy and so much charisma he could give it out in bags and keep plenty.

So who is this guy?

He's the hottest rising star in college football coaching. The Washington Post described him like this:

"He has a storm’s energy and so much charisma he could give it out in bags and keep plenty. His voice has preceded him, because through practice he has pushed a button and interrupted the Smashing Pumpkins or Kid Ink or the Beastie Boys’ eternal “Intergalactic” with instructions such as, “You’re always auditioning! Every play!”"

He's the guy with his own football language, which he called "Bronconese" at Western Michigan, according to MLive.com.

He's the guy who promotes failing.

“We promote failing every single day in the most positive way you can imagine,” Fleck told the Washington Post in 2015. “Failing is growth. Failing is amazing.”

He's the guy whose pregame speeches get national attention.

He's the guy whose expertise is on the offensive side of the ball. He ran a spread-option offense at Western Michigan with the goal of getting the ball into his best player's hands as often as possible, according to SB Nation. Western Michigan's offensive ranks improved every year under Fleck, rising all the way up to No. 11 in the nation this season. They had a 3,500-yard passer, 1,300-yard rusher and a 1,500-yard receiver.

He’s a very spiritual and intense guy from the western Chicago suburbs, according to the Chicago Tribune. Western Michigan trademarked his “Row the Boat” mantra, which he says is a “never give up” mindset.

According to The Detroit News, Fleck listened to previous offers but didn't want to go to Purdue and Oregon didn't want him. The only way he was going to leave Western Michigan was for a head coaching job in the Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12 or PAC 12.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 12.20.52 PM

COVID-19 case rate drops in 75 of 87 Minnesota counties

Transmission levels are still high throughout Minnesota.

helicopter-186718_1280

Man, 62, dies after his truck leaves road, hits tree

The Wisconsin man died after being airlifted to Regions Hospital.

pexels - beer buy fridge store liquor

Municipal liquor stores in 24 MN cities could be in jeopardy

These sites reported losses in two of the last three years, triggering a mandatory hearing.

Mats Zuccarello

2 Minnesota Wild players test positive for COVID-19

Both players will be unavailable Thursday night when the Wild face the expansion Kraken.

Target deals weekly ad - 10.31.2021

Target reveals first Black Friday deals, available next week

There are some steep discounts to be had, even though Black Friday is nearly a month away.

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 10.10.36 AM

'Dancing with the Stars: Live!' coming to Minnesota in February

The show's professional dancers will be at Mystic Lake.

Train derailment Fairmont screengrab

WATCH: Video shows terrifying moment train derails in Fairmont

A large chunk of the track appears to come off just before the derailment.

brewery

Grocery store beer sales? MN House hears nearly 30 proposals to update liquor laws

Calls to change the state's liquor laws grew louder during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 7.57.25 AM

3 people found dead inside home in Farmington

Police were conducting a welfare check when they found three people dead inside the home.

Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 7.26.58 AM

Headstones pushed over, smashed by vandals at cemetery in Alexandria

Police have released images of a vehicle they believe is connected to the case.

249680859_3960236007411518_889783566561667391_n

Puppies abandoned at Chaska golf course

It's illegal to abandon animals in Minnesota.

Related

P.J. Fleck is the new Gophers football coach

P.J. Fleck took Western Michigan to the Cotton Bowl and appears to be the new head coach of the Gophers.

Reports: P.J. Fleck adds a pair of offensive assistants to staff

P.J. Fleck adds some Western Michigan flavor to the Gophers coaching staff.

Reports: P.J. Fleck adds a pair of offensive assistants to staff

P.J. Fleck adds some Western Michigan flavor to the Gophers coaching staff.

Reports: WMU officials claim P.J. Fleck illegally contacted former players

Western Michigan officials have some questions for P.J. Fleck.

Reports: WMU officials claim P.J. Fleck illegally contacted former players

Western Michigan officials have some questions for P.J. Fleck.

P.J. Fleck has named his 'elite' coaching staff

Fleck is bringing his buddies from Western Michigan over.

P.J. Fleck has named his 'elite' coaching staff

Fleck is bringing his buddies from Western Michigan over.

Gophers AD: Tracy Claeys 'is our football coach'

Get ready for more of Tracy Claeys leading the Gophers.