Shooter: It’s beginning to look like Mark Coyle made the right hire in PJ Fleck

BleedGopher

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per Shooter:

It’s beginning to look like Gophers athletics director Mark Coyle made the right hire in P.J. Fleck as Gophers football coach.

Entering his third season, Fleck’s act seems to have appealed to a new generation. Entering training camp, his players have become stronger and more physical and seem more mature.

Benefiting from a favorable schedule — no Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State this year — the Gophers seem a good bet to win nine games, at least five in the Big Ten.

As for Fleck and expectations, he said last week, “Some people think we’re a top 25 (nationally), some people think we’re sixth in the West (in the seven-team division).”

https://www.twincities.com/2019/08/...max-kepler-never-dreamed-of-season-this-good/

Go Gophers!!
 

Face The Facts

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This is something I can agree with.

Very happy with Coyle.
 

PMWinSTP

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This season will be the decider.
 

MNVCGUY

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This season will be the decider.
It will be a strong indicator one way or the other but it won't be the decider on how Fleck is going to do here.

If the team does really well it will be cause for a ton of optimism for the future, if the team backslides and struggles it will be cause for some concern. But no matter what happens it is too early to know for certain how the Fleck run is going to go here.
 

Sparlimb

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Nope, next season
I agree. We'll be good this year, but we'll get to see a full PJ team next year. With Depth at every position. We're still too thin in places this year and will need freshmen to contribute significantly if anyone gets hurt.
 

Some Day...Maybe

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It will be a strong indicator one way or the other but it won't be the decider on how Fleck is going to do here.

If the team does really well it will be cause for a ton of optimism for the future, if the team backslides and struggles it will be cause for some concern. But no matter what happens it is too early to know for certain how the Fleck run is going to go here.
Agree


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die hard gopher

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
 

MNVCGUY

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
Could not agree more. For the first time we spent some money and went out and got the hot name that was out there in Fleck. No coaching hire is ever a sure thing but as opposed to following our usual pattern we went out and got the guy everyone was talking about.

Don't really remember all the circumstances around Mason when we hired him but I know he was well regarded. Brewster was plucked from obscurity by Maturi, and we got Kill after everyone else said no so he wasn't exactly high on anyone's coaching lists prior to us hiring him away from Northern Illinois. In Fleck we identified our top target and then went out and hired him.
 

Face The Facts

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PJ can go 3-9 this year and have no worries of losing his job. Academically they have never been better. Also, bad luck with starting QB hurt. He gets another year minimum no matter what unless massive cheating scandal it lack of control of team
 

Spoofin

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PJ can go 3-9 this year and have no worries of losing his job. Academically they have never been better. Also, bad luck with starting QB hurt. He gets another year minimum no matter what unless massive cheating scandal it lack of control of team
Agreed. As he should.


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FredCoxRocks

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Wait..what? So a stodgy columnist from the Pioneer Press must have initially thought this was a terrible hire; but now after letting things play out for a bit has a different opinion? Weird how that works. I wonder what the other stodgy columnist at the Pioneer Press thinks.
 

Pompous Elitist

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PJ can go 3-9 this year and have no worries of losing his job. Academically they have never been better. Also, bad luck with starting QB hurt. He gets another year minimum no matter what unless massive cheating scandal it lack of control of team
Uh, nope...

I agre he’ll get at least 5-6 years in spite of any win/loss issues because of money considerations and because Coyle. If they can convince themselves we won 4 of last 5, X number of seniors/Y number of upperclassmen, 2nd youngest team in football history, Robb Smith defense schematically sound, etc etc surely they will convince themselves success is just around the corner next year when recruits XYZ get on campus. Look no further than the talk regarding Pitino.
 

Jeshurun

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Uh, nope...

I agre he’ll get at least 5-6 years in spite of any win/loss issues because of money considerations and because Coyle. If they can convince themselves we won 4 of last 5, X number of seniors/Y number of upperclassmen, 2nd youngest team in football history, Robb Smith defense schematically sound, etc etc surely they will convince themselves success is just around the corner next year when recruits XYZ get on campus. Look no further than the talk regarding Pitino.
Will you be more or less miserable if/when PJ has success here?
 

PMWinSTP

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PJ can go 3-9 this year and have no worries of losing his job. Academically they have never been better. Also, bad luck with starting QB hurt. He gets another year minimum no matter what unless massive cheating scandal it lack of control of team
Who said he could lose his job? I've posted numerous times that Fleck is not going anywhere soon but for something like what you posted. Thread is about judging Coyle's decision.
 

highwayman

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
+1000
 

Joe Hardy

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Coyle made a good hire. One year won’t matter. P.J. is safe because he is building for the long haul. There will be a time (soon) when anything less than 6-3 in the BIG will be unthinkable. We’re just getting started.
 

Word

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
Agree. Pretty much all of Coyle's hires have been no brainers.

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BroncoRedux

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Coyle made a good hire for many of the reasons listed above. I loved Kill while he coached here (my opinion of him has deteriorated in the past year) but I honestly believe Fleck has a higher upside.
 

bleedsmaroonandgold

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
I disagree with this logic. It's an AD's job to hire a coach who will be successful, not make the popular or obvious hire. If those things end up to be the same, great, and based on the way last season ended, things are looking good so far. But, when all is said and done, if Fleck ends up being unsuccessful here, I'm not going to look back and say "it didnt work out, but since Coyle picked the guy the social media rubes wanted, he did a good job."
 

Schnauzer

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I disagree with this logic. It's an AD's job to hire a coach who will be successful, not make the popular or obvious hire. If those things end up to be the same, great, and based on the way last season ended, things are looking good so far. But, when all is said and done, if Fleck ends up being unsuccessful here, I'm not going to look back and say "it didnt work out, but since Coyle picked the guy the social media rubes wanted, he did a good job."
You are putting words in people's mouth.
 

Gophers_4life

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It's an AD's job to hire a coach who will be successful,
That’s what he meant by “hottest up and coming coach at the time”. Fleck was the most likely hire to succeed at the P5 level, at that time.

Your very basic sentiment is correct ... success potential should supersede likability ... but again I have a hard time believing that wasn’t exactly what Coyle was doing.
 

Gophers_4life

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Regardless of whether Fleck has success here or flames out and gets fired, it will have always been the right decision by Coyle to hire Fleck.

Fleck was by far the hottest up and coming coach on the market at the time it was a no brainer to hire him given he wanted the job. Tom Herman is really the only other guy that you could have made a case for at the time but I think Fleck is a better fit for Minnesota since he has always coached in the midwest and Herman is a better fit for Texas who has connections in the South. Fleck may or may not pan out (I definitely think he will) but regardless of what happens next, given what we knew at the time, it will always be a good decision. Kind of like shooting an open layup over a 3 point shot, its possible you may miss the layup but if you do miss, it doesn't mean it was a bad decision to take that shot, it just means you executed poorly.
This should pretty shut the thread down.

I think it’s exactly correct.


So of course it will go on for 10 more pages.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Will you be more or less miserable if/when PJ has success here?
I’ll be ecstatic along with the rest of you. My comment was more about having high expectations. It’s very rare for a coach to inherit a competitive program and not be relatively successful by year 3. This and next are big years. If we are treading water or worse by year 6 and start perpetually talking about next year then it starts to look like PJ was successful in the MAC more because of recruiting better players than his peers and maybe a smidgen of luck. If he starts winning 8-10 games per with the occasional stinker then we’ve entered Iowa, Northwestern, MSU territory and he is a raging success and can write his own contract.

Many coaches look good at the time of hire, a select few actually pan out. Some programs have a guy with football senses (Alvarez) in charge and the machine keeps rolling because of that. OTOH some programs hang on way too long but that’s usually because of money.
 

Gophers_4life

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It’s very rare for a coach to inherit a competitive program and not be relatively successful by year 3.
This is a false narrative, and I suspect why some here have unreasonably high expectations for what the *minimum* acceptable season is THIS year.

Everything that Kill and Claeys built up before Fleck got here was completely wiped out by the scandal and the ensuing purge of Claeys. To imply otherwise is ludicrous.

Fleck has to start from bedrock, like many new coaches at mid to low level P5 programs do.

As such, the correct position is that year 4 is the make or break season for the way that he runs the program.
 

Pompous Elitist

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This is a false narrative, and I suspect why some here have unreasonably high expectations for what the *minimum* acceptable season is THIS year.

Everything that Kill and Claeys built up before Fleck got here was completely wiped out by the scandal and the ensuing purge of Claeys. To imply otherwise is ludicrous.

Fleck has to start from bedrock, like many new coaches at mid to low level P5 programs do.

As such, the correct position is that year 4 is the make or break season for the way that he runs the program.
Or 5, or 6.
7.
 

die hard gopher

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I disagree with this logic. It's an AD's job to hire a coach who will be successful, not make the popular or obvious hire. If those things end up to be the same, great, and based on the way last season ended, things are looking good so far. But, when all is said and done, if Fleck ends up being unsuccessful here, I'm not going to look back and say "it didnt work out, but since Coyle picked the guy the social media rubes wanted, he did a good job."
Like I said, hiring Fleck was like shooting an open layup over a contested mid range or contested 3 point shot. Is there a 100% shot the layup goes in? No. Is it possible that you might miss the layup but then make the contested midrange or 3 point shot? Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that shooting the open layup was the correct decision over the more difficult shots because the layup gives you a better chance to make the basket. No coach is going to fault you for that shot selection.

Similarly, while there is not a not a 100% chance that Fleck pans out (again, I think he will), based on what we knew at the time, Fleck gave us the best chance to succeed over anybody else we could have realistically hired based on his body of work at the time. All you can really do as an AD is hire the coach who has the best body of work and hope it pans out. It doesn't guarantee anything if you do that but it gives you the best chance at success.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Like I said, hiring Fleck was like shooting an open layup over a contested mid range or contested 3 point shot. Is there a 100% shot the layup goes in? No. Is it possible that you might miss the layup but then make the contested midrange or 3 point shot? Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that shooting the open layup was the correct decision over the more difficult shots because the layup gives you a better chance to make the basket. No coach is going to fault you for that shot selection.

Similarly, while there is not a not a 100% chance that Fleck pans out (again, I think he will), based on what we knew at the time, Fleck gave us the best chance to succeed over anybody else we could have realistically hired based on his body of work at the time. All you can really do as an AD is hire the coach who has the best body of work and hope it pans out. It doesn't guarantee anything if you do that but it gives you the best chance at success.
^^^
 

MNVCGUY

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I disagree with this logic. It's an AD's job to hire a coach who will be successful, not make the popular or obvious hire. If those things end up to be the same, great, and based on the way last season ended, things are looking good so far. But, when all is said and done, if Fleck ends up being unsuccessful here, I'm not going to look back and say "it didnt work out, but since Coyle picked the guy the social media rubes wanted, he did a good job."
Fleck was more than just the guy the social media rubes wanted. He was one of if not the biggest names on the market that season and we went out and hired him. As has been well stated by others, even if it doesn't work out in the end, at the time of the hire it was absolutely the best decision Coyle could have made because he went out and got the guy on nearly everyones short list.

We didn't go cheap, we didn't go with an unknown, love or hate Coyle he did a great job with this hire.
 
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