Board of Regents approves Gophers coach P.J. Fleck’s contract extension

December 14, 2018

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents formally approved a one-year contract extension for football coach P.J. Fleck during its meeting Friday morning. The extension runs through the 2023 season.

Fleck issued a statement that said, in part, “We are building a championship culture that our fans can be proud of.”

Fleck’s original contract, signed when he was hired in January 2017, was for five years and $18 million, starting at $3.5 million per year with a $50,000 annual increase. He received a one-year extension on Nov. 22, 2017, and terms of the new, one-year extension are similar to what Fleck received last year. The contract will expire in January 2024.

Fleck, 38, led the Gophers to a 6-6 record and a berth in the Quick Lane Bowl in his second season as Minnesota’s coach, and the bowl berth triggered a $75,000 bonus. The Gophers won two of their last three games and three of their last five, capped by a 37-15 victory at Wisconsin to secure Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time since 2003. They will play Georgia Tech on Dec. 26 in Detroit.

The Gophers finished 5-7 in Fleck’s debut season last year and improved their win total by one even though they started seven freshmen on offense for most of the season. Athletic director Mark Coyle pointed to the team’s progress.

“The growth of this program is evident,” Coyle said in a statement. “Coach Fleck is building a team that excels on and off the field. He recruits at an extreme level and has brought in the highest-ranked classes in school history. His players are continually involved in the community and his program has produced record numbers of Academic All-Americans and Academic All-Big Ten honorees. I look forward to more continued success as Coach Fleck builds his program.’’

The Gophers had three players — Payton Jordahl, Gary Moore and Sam Renner — earn Academic All-America honors, the most of any Big Ten team. In addition, 39 Gophers earned academic all-conference recognition.

Fleck’s extended contract lasts through the next five seasons, which would match the time that an incoming 2019 player would spend at Minnesota if he redshirts and plays four years.

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