All Things P.J. Fleck Rumor Mill Thread - Listed as Candidate for Other Jobs

MplsGopher

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Fleck is a suburban Chicago kid. Played for Northern Illinois. I doubt he cheered for Illinois or Northwestern, both would be lateral moves (at best) at this point anyway.

Would be curious to know who he cheered for in college football growing up, if any at all. Maybe just a Bears fan?

Michigan and Notre Dame are the two most dominate programs that I think Chicago folks root for. So if not one of them, then maybe he'll end up being a lifer here!
 

Kit Johnson

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but the names alvarez and fry are regional heroes who brought their teams to respectability, they didn't win national titles.

rockne, parseghian, holz are football names from coast to coast and they won national championships.

i contend that it is far easier to become a legend at notre dame than it is minnesota.

it depends what kind of person fleck is. in my opinion he is an extremely motivated man. just think about what that kind of person could do at notre dame (in reality or in his dreams).

he could flame out, but he could be the next saban. that would be a hard opportunity to turn down.

im not saying i want him to go to notre dame. i just think it is wishful thinking to say that the things that make minnesota unique wouldnt pale in comparison to an easier road to national championships and yearly top ten pre-season rankings and unlimited money and the pick of the blue chips.
** Rockne, parseghian, holz are football names from coast to coast and they won national championships.

Bernie Bierman was a huge football name "coast to coast" back in his day and I would put him against any of those coaches named above. And the same for Bud Wilkinson, born and raised in Mpls. and a outstanding player for Bierman at the U of Minnesota. I would put Bud's coaching record (at Univ. of Oklahoma) right up there against the three names mentioned above.
I would put Bernie Bierman and the Univerity of Minnesota against Notre Dame any time ever period...!! For Coach Fleck to remain at the University of Minnesota and turn around their program to match Bierman's outstanding record he would have his own dynasty alone with Bierman. Coach Fleck is off to a great start, and has a ways to go but is fully capable to reach that status if he so desires and I am pulling for him to so.
 

Hates Monikers

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My guess is that there are only a handful of schools -- three or four -- that Fleck has on his master plan. And I would guess Notre Dame is one of them. But if Fleck stays here 10 more years there will be a statue of him outside of TCF Bank Stadium some day. And in 10 years, he'll still only be 49. Plenty of time to chase a national championship somewhere else, if he wants to. I hope he's not afraid to be a legend.
 

Bad Gopher

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My guess is that there are only a handful of schools -- three or four -- that Fleck has on his master plan. And I would guess Notre Dame is one of them. But if Fleck stays here 10 more years there will be a statue of him outside of TCF Bank Stadium some day. And in 10 years, he'll still only be 49. Plenty of time to chase a national championship somewhere else, if he wants to. I hope he's not afraid to be a legend.
There are no guarantees, but the guy thinks big and dreams big. If I know him, being the father of a modern-day reincarnation of a national power holds more appeal than being another in a line of successful coaches behind Ara and the others.
 

MplsGopher

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My guess is that there are only a handful of schools -- three or four -- that Fleck has on his master plan. And I would guess Notre Dame is one of them. But if Fleck stays here 10 more years there will be a statue of him outside of TCF Bank Stadium some day. And in 10 years, he'll still only be 49. Plenty of time to chase a national championship somewhere else, if he wants to. I hope he's not afraid to be a legend.
Good point.

Not impossible to win one here, and you weren’t saying that.

But in the last 22 years (with an actual national championship game), only 12 out of 65 power teams have multiple appearances. Plus another five that have appeared once, three of which I have doubts will ever appear again (Nebraska, Tenn, VT). The other two Georgia and Notre Dame probably could. And five of the multi’s Miami, USC, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas haven’t appeared for some time.


Seems like a pretty tight cabal, of Oregon, Florida St, Auburn, Ohio St, LSU, Alabama, Clemson.
 

Gophersince72

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I agree that there are probably only a handful of schools PJ would ever leave for and Notre Dame is almost certainly A#1. I could definitely see him at Ohio State or Michigan but my gut says he probably wouldn't jump there directly/in conference; too awkward. Maybe Texas or Georgia or Washington? Really, I think it's probably ND or no one right now. I, too, hope like hell he has a dream of becoming Barry Alvarez Jr. Like you said, the guy is so doggone young, he could be here for a decade and still be a relatively young hire for a blue blood in Phase 3 of his head coaching career. Or . . . politics. PJ did say in a recent interview that he follows politics closely. I still think we'll see PJ on a voting ballot some day. My gut says his dreams are bigger than football somehow.
 

Spoofin

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I heard JDS was transferring there too
 

Halsey Hall

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If your mantra is row the boat you've got to stay where there are 12,000 lakes
 

leib0039

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Everyone is different, I have a good bet that everyone out in Gonzaga land was just terrified the first 2 to 6 years that Mark Few was going to leave for every open P5 job out there, its now been 20+ years and he hasnt even sniffed another job. I would wonder if Fleck would talk to someone like Chris Petersen who seemed set at Boise and was there an extended time and decided to move to Washington and after a few years he got burnt out and is now retired. Would have to wonder if deep in his heart of hearts he wishes he would have stayed at Boise.

Also, its been said before, but PJ is HUGE on culture/RTB/HYPPR and Minnesota has done an amazing job of embracing that. Those mantras and rah rah attitude are great at some places, but they may not always work at the "blue bloods". I cant imagine if PJ said yah hey Tide fans, our motto of Roll Tide Roll is out, we are rowing the boat. That might not be their cup of tea.

Heres hoping we have to do the fundraising for a PJF statue at the Bank!
 

gophernut1

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Facilites - check
Only state college - check
Being able to nationally recruit - check
Winning - check
AD and school president who get you and understand whst it takes to keep you - check
Getting fans to buy in - work in progress

Only Thing that does not keep PJ here in my mind is a boat that never fills up or only fills up occassionally. He can build a great team and now needs a great fan base. It is happening just wondering if it will happen fast enough.
 

Otis

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You gotta really want the ND job, though. Very tough fanbase, very demanding and also refuse to let go of the difficult, independent schedule. I thought I had read that they were convinced they could get Urban Meyer, but he ended up going to Ohio St. Easier to win there.
Why is it easier to win at Ohio State? Because it's easier to recruit? Notre Dame SHOULD be on the same level as OSU in Blue Blood status and with Meyer as coach, probably would be. The schedule probably would be easier at ND with those Service Academy games, ACC games, Same B1G games and then hand pick the rest. Notre Dame can pick schools that have an open date, because they have their own network! It could be easy if they choose it to be.

Meyer was also tied into Ohio.
 

The prez sez

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What a weird thread. Let's get weirder: There's a higher probability of fleck going to Mich than Notre dame. neither will happen.
 

MplsGopher

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Why is it easier to win at Ohio State? Because it's easier to recruit? Notre Dame SHOULD be on the same level as OSU in Blue Blood status and with Meyer as coach, probably would be. The schedule probably would be easier at ND with those Service Academy games, ACC games, Same B1G games and then hand pick the rest. Notre Dame can pick schools that have an open date, because they have their own network! It could be easy if they choose it to be.

Meyer was also tied into Ohio.
Meyer is from Toledo, which is roughly equidistant to South Bend and Columbus.

He was only a graduate assistant coach at Ohio St, back in the 80's (his first college gig). He was the WR coach at Notre Dame from 1996-2000, which was his last run as an assistant coach before becoming the HC at Bowling Green. We of course know what happened after that.


As far as Notre Dame's schedule, it seems that they have started dabbling into having 2 G5 teams, in addition to Navy, which to me is a quasi-G5/P5 tweener. Can be a very difficult team, have to prepare for triple-option that very few run these days. Etc. So 9/10 P5 games per season. Usually play USC and Stanford each year, the 5 ACC which can be varying quality (depending if they get Clemson or Florida St), usually a Big Ten team each year.

So perhaps arguably not a super difficult schedule, but still difficult.

Mainly what I meant was, Ohio State is one of the elite helmet schools these days, and pretty much guaranteed to have higher talent than most teams it plays. Was it like that when Urban took over, maybe not.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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Everyone is different, I have a good bet that everyone out in Gonzaga land was just terrified the first 2 to 6 years that Mark Few was going to leave for every open P5 job out there, its now been 20+ years and he hasnt even sniffed another job. I would wonder if Fleck would talk to someone like Chris Petersen who seemed set at Boise and was there an extended time and decided to move to Washington and after a few years he got burnt out and is now retired. Would have to wonder if deep in his heart of hearts he wishes he would have stayed at Boise.

Also, its been said before, but PJ is HUGE on culture/RTB/HYPPR and Minnesota has done an amazing job of embracing that. Those mantras and rah rah attitude are great at some places, but they may not always work at the "blue bloods". I cant imagine if PJ said yah hey Tide fans, our motto of Roll Tide Roll is out, we are rowing the boat. That might not be their cup of tea.

Heres hoping we have to do the fundraising for a PJF statue at the Bank!
Row Tide Row
 

West Fargo Gopher Fan

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Fleck is a suburban Chicago kid. Played for Northern Illinois. I doubt he cheered for Illinois or Northwestern, both would be lateral moves (at best) at this point anyway.

Would be curious to know who he cheered for in college football growing up, if any at all. Maybe just a Bears fan?

Michigan and Notre Dame are the two most dominate programs that I think Chicago folks root for. So if not one of them, then maybe he'll end up being a lifer here!
Fleck cheered for Wisconsin Badgers growing up. He has said it many times. Its well known.
 

builtbadgers

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My guess is that there are only a handful of schools -- three or four -- that Fleck has on his master plan. And I would guess Notre Dame is one of them. But if Fleck stays here 10 more years there will be a statue of him outside of TCF Bank Stadium some day. And in 10 years, he'll still only be 49. Plenty of time to chase a national championship somewhere else, if he wants to. I hope he's not afraid to be a legend.
Huge fan of the hire and i posted as such, even bigger fan now but does he have to at least win a conference title to get a statue ?
 

MplsGopher

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Fleck cheered for Wisconsin Badgers growing up. He has said it many times. Its well known.
So not sure if Michigan or Notre Dane would be any kind of “dream” then.

Being able to legit coach for a national championship though, I can see that being a dream.
 

MinneStoa

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Huge fan of the hire and i posted as such, even bigger fan now but does he have to at least win a conference title to get a statue ?
I think it’s pretty clearly implied within the “if he stays here 10 more years” bit. Any longevity like that requires high levels of success.
 

builtbadgers

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I think it’s pretty clearly implied within the “if he stays here 10 more years” bit. Any longevity like that requires high levels of success.
Understood. Lets see if he can make the conference title game this year .
 

tjgopher

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Fleck cheered for Wisconsin Badgers growing up. He has said it many times. Its well known.
I don't believe that is true. He has said the Wisconsin shirt was from a relative and he wore it. But, he hasn't said many times he grew up cheering for Wisconsin.

He has said many times he grew up cheering for Illinois and that was his dream school to play for. He attended football camps there and attended games there. They weren't interested so he went to play at Northern Illinois.
 
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GopherPete

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For everybody suggesting ND could be potential destination for Fleck, I'm just curious why so many follow this line of thought? Has he ever said anything to indicate ND was on his short list of destinations at any point? Or is it just the "spiritual" angle? If so, not sure exactly what religion PJ follows, I assume it is some form of Christianity based on some comments he has made. But one thing to keep in mind, is that many in the evangelical field do not associate the Catholic religion as Christianity. So, if Fleck is evangelical, he may not think ND is a good fit. Just something to consider...
 

BleedGopher

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If Not Harbaugh, Who?

The comeback to those disappointed Jim Harbaugh has not reached the potential hoped for and expected, when he was hired five years ago, can be summed up in one question: "who are you going to be able to realistically get that's any better?"

To that end, let's say you're Athletic Director Warde Manuel. After another season of three or more losses and no titles, six months from now you're deciding whether to move on from Harbaugh or not. Before finalizing your answer, you decide you need to compile a realistic candidate pool.

Then you need to ask yourself whether or not any of these names are more likely than Harbaugh to finally beat Ohio State, and end the program's longest Big Ten title drought in the next four years. Otherwise, why risk making a move at all?

Finally, you also decide you need to hire a coach who would arrive in Ann Arbor with momentum, because you can't risk falling even further behind the Buckeyes. Therefore, this exercise also assumes every name on this list is coming off a successful season at their current school, or hasn't had too much time away from college football (so no Bob Stoops).

Here are your top five candidates, in alphabetical order, with a scouting report on the various strengths and weaknesses each of them brings to the job:

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
A Jim Tressel protege, Fleck began his coaching career as a grad assistant at Ohio State after his playing days, and worked his way up to full-time assistant on the 2006 squad that spent most of the season ranked No. 1. After stints with Joe Novak at his alma mater Northern Illinois, and Greg Schiano at Rutgers and Tampa Bay in the NFL, Fleck became the first FBS head coach born in the 1980s when Western Michigan hired him in 2013. His first year the Broncos were an abysmal 1-11, but after recruiting the top class in the MAC three consecutive years, he turned the program all the way around to a 13-0 regular season in 2016. Western Michigan was also the Group of Five representative in the New Year's Six. He got off to a slow start at Minnesota as well, but in his third year the Gophers had their most wins since 1904 and highest final ranking since 1962. Like his mentor, Tressel, he's a proponent of the power spread. He's omnipresent in the community and media, as well as a dynamic recruiter. His boundless energy and sloganeering are loved by his players once they buy in (and sneered at by media), but would that fit in at Michigan?


Go Gophers!!
 

gophereric30

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If Not Harbaugh, Who?

The comeback to those disappointed Jim Harbaugh has not reached the potential hoped for and expected, when he was hired five years ago, can be summed up in one question: "who are you going to be able to realistically get that's any better?"

To that end, let's say you're Athletic Director Warde Manuel. After another season of three or more losses and no titles, six months from now you're deciding whether to move on from Harbaugh or not. Before finalizing your answer, you decide you need to compile a realistic candidate pool.

Then you need to ask yourself whether or not any of these names are more likely than Harbaugh to finally beat Ohio State, and end the program's longest Big Ten title drought in the next four years. Otherwise, why risk making a move at all?

Finally, you also decide you need to hire a coach who would arrive in Ann Arbor with momentum, because you can't risk falling even further behind the Buckeyes. Therefore, this exercise also assumes every name on this list is coming off a successful season at their current school, or hasn't had too much time away from college football (so no Bob Stoops).

Here are your top five candidates, in alphabetical order, with a scouting report on the various strengths and weaknesses each of them brings to the job:

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
A Jim Tressel protege, Fleck began his coaching career as a grad assistant at Ohio State after his playing days, and worked his way up to full-time assistant on the 2006 squad that spent most of the season ranked No. 1. After stints with Joe Novak at his alma mater Northern Illinois, and Greg Schiano at Rutgers and Tampa Bay in the NFL, Fleck became the first FBS head coach born in the 1980s when Western Michigan hired him in 2013. His first year the Broncos were an abysmal 1-11, but after recruiting the top class in the MAC three consecutive years, he turned the program all the way around to a 13-0 regular season in 2016. Western Michigan was also the Group of Five representative in the New Year's Six. He got off to a slow start at Minnesota as well, but in his third year the Gophers had their most wins since 1904 and highest final ranking since 1962. Like his mentor, Tressel, he's a proponent of the power spread. He's omnipresent in the community and media, as well as a dynamic recruiter. His boundless energy and sloganeering are loved by his players once they buy in (and sneered at by media), but would that fit in at Michigan?


Go Gophers!!
So this writer is asking if players loving flecks energy and sloganeering would work at Michigan? So hes not sure if the players loving their coach would work? Kinda funny!
 

PitinoFan

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^^

It’s just Steve Deace. I’ll bet PJ is his dream coach.
 

oak_street1981

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Fleck is a suburban Chicago kid. Played for Northern Illinois. I doubt he cheered for Illinois or Northwestern, both would be lateral moves (at best) at this point anyway.

Would be curious to know who he cheered for in college football growing up, if any at all. Maybe just a Bears fan?

Michigan and Notre Dame are the two most dominate programs that I think Chicago folks root for. So if not one of them, then maybe he'll end up being a lifer here!
This is the second time I agreed with anything MPLS Gopher posted, but these are very good points. I tend to agree with those that think Minnesota can keep PJF forever if we pay him and fund the program appropriately.

However, PJF has an ego, and these are the "prime" jobs for a Alpha typle., and I do think Michigan, Notre Dame and even USC will be ready to take a run at him. Minnesota will pay him as much as these suitors, but can we overcome the chache'.
 

builtbadgers

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This is the second time I agreed with anything MPLS Gopher posted, but these are very good points. I tend to agree with those that think Minnesota can keep PJF forever if we pay him and fund the program appropriately.

However, PJF has an ego, and these are the "prime" jobs for a Alpha typle., and I do think Michigan, Notre Dame and even USC will be ready to take a run at him. Minnesota will pay him as much as these suitors, but can we overcome the chache'.
USC will make a pitch for Urban Meyer in that 9 million range. We would not pay 9 million.
 

GopherGuy8

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But does he want to be the man who brought up the program. Or does he want to be the man that took over blue blood.
EXACTLY!!!
The only way a coach becomes a legend at a blue blood school is if they win a national championship. Also those fans tend to turn on coaches very quickly.
At Minnesota, Fleck is allowed to build his team the way he wants, has a longer leash than he would at a blue blood, and if he is able to have any kind of prolonged success at Minnesota he will be a legend.
 
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