1st-place Minnesota gives coach PJ Fleck new 7-year contract


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Division-leading Minnesota and coach P.J. Fleck agreed Wednesday to a new seven-year contract that lasts through the 2028 season.

Terms of the deal, which is pending approval by the university’s board of regents, weren’t immediately available. Fleck’s base salary this year is $4.65 million, in the middle of the pack for head coaches in the 14-team Big Ten.

“This is home,” Fleck said in a statement distributed by the university. “Our family loves it here and we are excited to continue this journey.”

Minnesota (6-2, 4-1) landed at No. 20 in the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings this week after beating Northwestern 41-14 for its fourth straight win.

The Gophers are alone atop the Big Ten West, with Illinois due in town on Saturday. Their biggest tests will be the rivalry games at Iowa on Nov. 13 and the regular-season finale against Wisconsin on Nov. 27, matchups that will determine the West title.

Fleck is in his fifth year at Minnesota, with a 32-21 record at the school after four seasons at Western Michigan.

“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,” athletic director Mark Coyle said.

Fleck, who will turn 41 on Nov. 29, last had his contract increased and extended in 2019. The Gophers finished 11-2 that year, ranked 10th in the final Associated Press poll.


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