P.J. Fleck signs contract extension through 2022 season

Fleck was signed through the 2021 season before the extension.

Head coach P.J. Fleck cheers on players after the Gophers scored a touchdown on Saturday, Sept. 16 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Courtney Deutz

Head coach P.J. Fleck cheers on players after the Gophers scored a touchdown on Saturday, Sept. 16 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Drew Cove

Head coach P.J. Fleck received a contract extension that will keep him at the University of Minnesota through the 2022 season, the team announced on Wednesday.

The extension adds an additional year to what was agreed on for his first contract. He will be paid an extra $50,000 in the extended year. The original contract was five years, $18 million — roughly $3.6 million per year. This new deal will bring the total to over $20 million.

“It’s an honor to coach here, it’s a privilege,” Fleck said. “I love every minute of it, I love these players, I love what we get to do on a daily basis.”

Fleck said athletics director Mark Coyle approached him with the prospect of an extension, not a prompt from Fleck himself.

Fleck arrived to Minnesota from Western Michigan on Jan. 6. The Gophers paid a $600,000 buyout to Western Michigan, which allowed Fleck out of his previous contract with the Broncos. Fleck was hired after former head coach Tracy Claeys lost his job after a sexual assault scandal in December.

Fleck’s team is 5-6 this season. The Gophers head into their final regular season matchup against No. 5 Wisconsin this Saturday.

“It makes everybody feel better,” said defensive coordinator Robb Smith. “He has an unbelievable vision. … It helps to bring the vision to light.” 

Approval by the Board of Regents in December will make the extension official.

“I love the traditions at the University of Minnesota, that’s why you come here,” Fleck said. “I’m thankful to represent the entire state as your head football coach.”