PJ Fleck Agrees to 7-Year Contract to Stay at Minnesota

PHOTO: ELIZABETH FLORES – STAR TRIBUNE

The University of Minnesota and PJ Fleck have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in Minnesota through 2028, per a release from the Gophers. With all of the coaching vacancies opening across the country, it’s clear that Athletic Director Mark Coyle and President Joan Gabel wanted to make sure PJ Fleck was sticking around for the long haul. And as many doubted was the case, PJ clearly wants to stay. For the foreseeable future, at least.

Fleck gave a statement with the release that was sent out to Gopher media members.

“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.”

PJ Fleck Statement

Contract Details

Beyond length, we do not know what this extension looks like. Fleck probably got a raise in this new deal. But theGopher head coach was already being pretty well compensated, compared to his peers in the Big Ten. As I’ve written about before, it’s his coaching staff that needed their pockets padded.

Fleck had one of the lowest pools of money to hire coaches, throughout the entire conference. That makes it harder to bring in and retain high-level coaching talent. Hopefully that changes.

I’d also expect Fleck’s buyout to be massive. Until the new deal was inked, it would have cost just $5 million for PJ to break his contract with the Gophers. That will probably balloon, at least for the next few years. It might cost more to fire him too, but that wasn’t about to happen anyway.

UPDATE: Contract Details

PJ Fleck’s new contract will up his pay from $4.6 million per season to $5.1 million, good for 5th highest in the Big Ten. His buyout escalates back up to $10 million and comes down more gradual each season compared to his last deal. The assistant coach pool receives $350K more than what was assigned prior.

Back in January, USA Today Sports had the Minnesota Gophers assistant coaching pool at $3.6M, good for 9th in the Big Ten. $3.9 million wouldn’t pull them out of that ranking. USA Today Sports no longer lists the assistant coaching pools as a whole, instead listing each coach individual contract number.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan