Pioneer Press: Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck knows how to play politics, too
The biggest change for new Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck has been learning about the magnitude of the University of Minnesota’s role in the state.
Fleck, hired away from Western Michigan about five weeks ago, received a taste of the context of his new job when he visited Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislators last Wednesday in St. Paul.
“A very different experience for me and finding how involved they are with the hiring of me and the expectations of me, and understanding this is way bigger than maybe where I was prior,” Fleck told the Pioneer Press on Monday. “This is the one Division I program in the state. Where at Western Michigan, I had Michigan and Michigan State, where maybe it was like that there, but I was in the MAC (Mid-American Conference), and I didn’t necessarily have that, with all those people influencing.”
Last week, Fleck had an smooth meet-and-greet with Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL, representing Apple Valley, Rosemount and northeast Lakeville. Clausen is the vice chair on the Senate’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, which allocates the University of Minnesota’s budget.
“(Fleck) is very enthusiastic, and he has been very successful,” Clausen said in a phone interview Tuesday. “I sense that he has the best interest in the young men that he coaches — not only as football players but as people and wanting to develop talents and skills as human beings.”
Clausen said he was struck immediately by Fleck’s congeniality. Clausen told Fleck he was a former high school football coach (at Apple Valley from 1976-79), and Fleck responded that he’s a former teacher (with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Illinois in 2004).
“We had a bond there,” Clausen said.
Fleck appears able to adapt and expand his role.
Will be important when it comes time to add those extra seats onto The Bank
We need to get the schematics out and go over this again!
Originally Posted by nemo1107