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Minnesota Football: P.J. Fleck agrees to contract extension through 2026

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Grab an oar, because P.J. Fleck won’t be needing one any time soon

NCAA Football: Georgia Southern at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Minnesota and head football coach P.J. Fleck have agreed to a new seven-year contract, pending approval from the Board of Regents. No details have been announced regarding his annual salary, but Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel is reporting that both Fleck and his coaching staff are expected to receive significant pay raises.

UPDATE (2:45 p.m.): Athletic director Mark Coyle has since confirmed that Fleck’s base annual salary will be $4.6 million, and the buyout is $10 million if he leaves in the first year of the new contract. That buyout decreases to $4.5 million after his second year, then $3 million for the next two years, $2 million for the two years after that, and $0 in his final year. If terminated, Minnesota would owe Fleck 65 percent of his remaining contract.

UPDATE (3:08 p.m.): The Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen has confirmed that a clause in Fleck’s new contract makes available $1.05 million to boost the salaries of his assistant coaches in 2020 and another $200,000 for increases in 2021.

The new contract keeps Fleck in Minneapolis through 2026.

Fleck originally signed a five-year, $18 million contract when he was first hired back in January 2017. He received a one-year extension at the end of 2017, and then another in late 2018 to extend his deal through through 2023 for a total of $25.5 million.

The contract extension comes within days of the No. 13-ranked Gophers’ much-anticipated showdown with No. 5 Penn State on Saturday. Both teams are undefeated, and Minnesota is 8-0 for the first time since 1941. Fleck’s current overall record at Minnesota is 20-13, and he has improved the team’s win total in each of his three seasons at the helm.

Not long after Florida State announced the firing of head coach Willie Taggart less than two years into his tenure in Tallahassee, Fleck’s name was already being floated as a potential candidate for the Seminoles. This extension effectively nips that speculation in the bud.

The extension also brings much-needed stability to a football program that cycled through three head coaches in the decade before Fleck was hired.