Less than a week after coaching the Western Michigan Broncos in the program's first New Years Six bowl, PJ Fleck is reportedly headed to Minnesota.
Claeys was fired earlier this week after a sexual assault scandal rocked the program, leaving 10 players suspended for the Holiday Bowl.
Claeys, a former Jerry Kill coordinator, had supported his team’s initial boycott of the bowl, before the players reversed their decision. Minnesota defeated Washington State 17-12.
Fleck was 30-22 at Western Michigan, including a 13-1 record and a MAC Championship this past season. With a 13-0 record in the regular season, the Broncos earned the Group of Five bid into the New Years Six bowls, where they played the #8 Wisconsin Badgers in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Fleck will now play the Badgers on an annual basis in the Big Ten West.
Fleck, a former assistant coach under Kill, steps in after both Claeys and Kill - as well as a good number of Golden Gopher players - voiced heavy displeasure with the Minnesota administration’s decision to remove Claeys.
Fleck’s new contract is rumored to be 6 years, $21 million, or about $3.5 million per season, per media reports. His contract at Western Michigan paid him $800,000 per season, by far the most in the MAC.
It was believed another pay raise was on its way, but Western Michigan and Fleck could not work out a deal before the Cotton Bowl and apparently could not come to terms on a deal that would keep him in Kalamazoo.