Matt Birk Throws Hat in Ring for Gophers Head Coaching Job if PJ Fleck Leaves

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

After news broke on Friday afternoon that PJ Fleck is a top candidate for the suddenly open UCLA Bruins head coaching job, former Minnesota Vikings legend and St. Paul’s own, Matt Birk, threw his hat into the ring for consideration as the next University of Minnesota head football coach, should PJ leave for the west coast.

Related: Does PJ Fleck Have His Recruiting Mojo Back?

He did so with a tweet that included a rather star-studded coaching staff of Brooks Bollinger (offensive coordinator), Steve Hutchinson (OL coach), Chad Greenway (defensive coordinator), Ben Leber (LB coach) and John Randle (DL coach). Later on, Jim Kleinsasser was brought in as his tight ends coach and Tommy Olson as his centers coach…?

Matt Birk wants to replace PJ Fleck as Minnesota Gophers head coach?

Birk graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall high school between two MLB Hall of Famers, 7 years ahead of Joe Mauer and 20 years after Paul Molitor. Sure, Birk left to attend Harvard for a few years, but we can forgive him for that, right? I mean, we’re talking about an Ivy-educated ‘one of us’ Minnesota Vikings all-time great…

Worried about his politicking abilities? Don’t be, Matt runs and has his hands in multiple successful business ventures and markets them impressively. He even threw himself into politics last election cycle as a lieutenant governor candidate. Come on, aren’t you intrigued yet?

The final line in Birk’s first tweet may be the demise of his entire grand plan, however. He claims that Dinkytown Athletes, the Gophers Name, Image and Likeness collective, can cease operations, should he become the coach. The 47-year-old future NFL Hall of Famer claims that no NIL money will be needed in his hypothetical Gophers football program.

Related: PJ Fleck, Gophers Have Turned in Multiple Rival Schools for Tampering

His recruiting plan is simple. Recruit “guys who just care about ball”. If, in this hypothetical scenario, Birk expects his best and brightest talent to play for free, while other players across the country are being paid for the same job, I’d assume he and his entire staff plans on coaching for free too.

If true, this is a very exciting development. With all of this saved money, time and effort, maybe the University can lower tuition for the regular Joe? Come on, who ever said there is no such thing as a free lunch?

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