Head coach P.J. Fleck adds 13 new members to football staff

Nine of Fleck’s picks previously worked with him at Western Michigan.

Newly appointed Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck speaks during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Newly appointed Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck speaks during a press conference on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium.

Jack White

Newly-appointed Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck added nine assistant coaches and four staff members to his team Tuesday.

“I am proud to announce these additions to the Minnesota staff,” Fleck said in a press release. “I have worked with the majority of these elite men and am confident they will help take Gopher football to the next level.”

Nine of the 13 new members of the Gophers coaching staff worked with Fleck at Western Michigan, including the new offensive coordinator, Kirk Ciarrocca; one of the staff members formerly worked with Fleck at Rutgers.

The Broncos were ranked ninth in the country for points scored in Ciarrocca’s final season with the Western Michigan team.

Kenni Burns, Matt Simon Brian Callahan, and Ed Warinner are also on the offensive coaching staff.

The new defensive coordinator — Robb Smith — comes from Arkansas, where he held the same position for the Razorbacks for the last three seasons. The team ranked No. 94 in rush defense and No. 65 in defensive passing efficiency last season.

Maurice Linguist, Bryce Paup and Rob Wenger round out Smith’s defensive coaching corps.

Gerrit Chernoff, Dan Nichol, Marcus Hendrickson and Matt Childers were also added to the staff by Fleck, they will hold the positions of general manager, head strength and conditioning coach, director of player personnel and director of video, respectively.

The staff hires will undergo standard University procedures before appointments are made official.