NOTE: Update to the original post with additional details about the terms is below
The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday morning that head football coach P.J. Fleck has signed a new seven-year contract through the 2028 season. The contract will need to be approved by the Board of Regents before it becomes official, but the agreement is in place.
The full press release:
The University of Minnesota and head football coach P.J. Fleck have agreed to a new seven-year contract. This agreement, pending Board of Regents approval, will keep Fleck in Maroon and Gold through the 2028 season.
“This is home,” said Fleck. “Our family loves it here and we are excited to continue this journey at the University of Minnesota. From day one, we talked about cultural sustainability and how important it is to building a successful football program and life program. Today is another step in that process, and this new contract is a commitment to our elite staff and the entire state of Minnesota. Heather and I are so thankful to our staff, Mark Coyle, President Joan Gabel and the Board of Regents for trusting us to lead this program. Our goal is to recruit and coach at an elite level and to have our young people achieve academic, athletic, social and spiritual excellence. It’s a tremendous honor to lead this program, and we will continue to work to build a culture that connects the entire state.”
Fleck has the Gophers off to a 6-2 record this season and a 4-1 mark in Big Ten. He is 32-21 overall at Minnesota, but is 24-10 – a record not realized in nearly 80 years – in his last 34 games leading the Gophers.
In his fifth season, Fleck is 10th already in school history in games coached (53) and sixth in wins (32). Fleck’s .603 winning percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games at the helm, trailing only Henry L. Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ‘45-50). In his ninth season as a college head coach, Fleck is 62-43 overall and has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year once and the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year twice.
“P.J. and Heather continue to do everything the right way,” said Director of Athletics Mark Coyle. “He continues to build a program that fans can take great pride in, and his student-athletes compete at a high level academically, athletically and socially. He is a tremendous recruiter and has elevated the stature of our program by an immeasurable amount. I am grateful to President Gabel and the Board of Regents for their continued support, and I look forward to Coach Fleck continuing to lead the Gophers.”
During his tenure, Fleck has guided Minnesota to its most wins (11 in 2019) since 1904, has coached three All-Americans (Antoine Winfield Jr., Rashod Bateman and Mohamed Ibrahim), six Academic All-Americans (Blaise Andries twice, Sam Renner twice, Payton Jordahl and Gary Moore) and 194 Academic All-Big Ten performers.
In 2019, Fleck led Minnesota to two top-10 wins (Penn State and Auburn) and guided Minnesota to its first New Year’s Day bowl win (2020 Outback Bowl against Auburn) since 1962.
Fleck has coached Minnesota to a school-record seven Big Ten wins in a single-season and has had the Gophers ranked as high as No. 7 in the AP Poll and No. 8 in the College Football Playoffs.
In its history, Minnesota has had ten student-athletes named a Big Ten player of the year. Fleck has coached three of them in Ibrahim, Bateman and Winfield Jr.
Fleck has had eight Gophers selected in the NFL Draft, and in 2021 Bateman was Minnesota’s most recent first-round selection since Laurence Maroney in 2006.
Off the field, Fleck’s program has posted record GPAs and continually gives back to the community by hosting diaper drives, turkey drives, a school supply drive and a canned food drive. Fleck and the team also have a strong philanthropic connection to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.
UPDATE: 11/3/21 - 1:30pm
The new contract raises Fleck’s annual salary from $4.65 million to $5.1 million. His buyout is $10 million before Dec. 31, 2022, then drops down to $7 million following year, $5 million the next year, and $4 million the year after that. The contract also makes available an additional $350,000 for assistant coach salaries. Fleck’s new deal also includes the following incentives:
- $150,000 for winning the Big Ten Championship
- $100,000 for winning outright or tying for the Big Ten West division championship
- $100,000 for being named a National Coach of the Year
- $50,000 for being named Conference Coach of the Year
- $100,000 for winning eight regular season games
- $100,000 for winning nine regular season games