PJ Fleck Reportedly a Top Candidate for UCLA Head Coaching Job

NCAA Football: Quick Lane Bowl-Bowling Green at Minnesota
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Gophers football team is coming off of its worst season under PJ Fleck since 2017, if you exclude 2020. They limped into and won a bottom-tier bowl game, after finishing the regular season with a 5-7 record, due to an outstanding academic record. Still, 6-7 isn’t what most would consider a successful season.

PJ Fleck a top candidate for UCLA head coach job?

According to multiple reports Friday, however, the Gophers’ down 2023 season isn’t holding PJ back from being a top candidate for UCLA’s recently vacated head coaching job, after Chip Kelly took a demotion to become Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. Brett McMurphy (Action Network) named Fleck immediately upon Kelly taking the OSU OC job.

It’s hard to know whether or not PJ Fleck is really a top candidate at UCLA. I mean, we are talking about one of the most sought after jobs in the country and one that is splashing into Big Ten money next season.

Related: Does PJ Fleck Have His Recruiting Mojo Back?

Of all the coaches who would be interested in that opportunity, why Fleck? And why would he be the only name that McMurphy tweets out? Well, PJ wasn’t the only name mentioned by Bruce Feldman (The Athletic), but he was the 2nd name on his list of potential candidates.

Other options for Bruins

Former Stanford coach David Shaw was the only person ahead of PJ and those two were the only head coaches named. The others were all assistants. It’s early, but it’s possible that, this late in the coaching carousel, the Bruins won’t have a normal complement of options to choose from.

Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck is high-energy. The 43-year-old knows the Big Ten. — He’s a good coach who took over a messy situation at Minnesota. He’s known for his Row The Boat mantra and the pep he brings. How well that might play in Los Angeles would be interesting, to say the least.

Bruce Feldman – The Athletic

We know Fleck and his agent, Bryan Harlan, like to keep the University of Minnesota on their toes and we know Mark Coyle just got a raise/extension approved by the Board of Regents this week. Could this be PJ Fleck’s attempt at the same thing? I find that as more likely than it is UCLA hires him away from Dinkytown… but I’ve been wrong before.

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