P. J. Fleck
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamWestern Michigan
ConferenceMid-American Conference
Biographical details
Born (1980-11-29) November 29, 1980 (age 39)
Sugar Grove, Illinois
Alma materNorthern Illinois University
Playing career
2004–2005San Francisco 49ers
Position(s)Wide receiver
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Ohio State (GA)
Northern Illinois (WR)
Rutgers (WR)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (WR)
Western Michigan
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
* All-MAC wide receiver (2003)

Phillip John Fleck (born November 29, 1980) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach at Western Michigan University. Fleck played as a wide receiver for Northern Illinois University from 1999 to 2003, and the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL from 2004 to 2005.

Playing careerEdit

Fleck started his playing career at Kaneland High School located in Maple Park, Illinois where he helped the Knights win back to back state championships in 1997 and 1998. He set a state record with 95 catches for 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. For his career, Fleck caught 199 passes for 3,121 yards and 34 scores with at least one catch in 40 straight games. Fleck also ran track and played basketball.

Upon graduation, Fleck attended Northern Illinois University where he played wide receiver. As a senior, he led the Huskies with 77 catches for 1,028 yards and six touchdowns, a reception total that still ranks second on the school's single-season list. Fleck still owns the school record for career punt returns (87), is second in punt return yards (716), ranks third in career catches (179) and is fourth in receiving yards (2,162).[1] He was a second-team Academic All-American as a senior and was twice voted team captain by his Huskie teammates.[2]

He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers in 2004. 49ers head coach Dennis Erickson labeled Fleck a "frickin' warrior" during training camp.[3] Fleck spent a majority of the 2004 season on the 49ers practice squad before being promoted to the 53 man roster and appearing in the 49ers final game of the season.[4] Fleck spent the 2005 season on injured reserve after suffering a significant shoulder injury during the preseason. In the summer of 2006, Fleck was released by the 49ers. The day he was released, 49ers head coach Mike Nolan noted that coaching could be in Fleck's future, stating "If that's something he wants to do, I think he'd be very good at it."[5]

Assistant coaching careerEdit

Fleck began his coaching career in 2006 as an offensive graduate assistant at Ohio State University under head coach Jim Tressel. He worked directly with the Buckeyes' tight ends and assisted with the special teams.

In 2007, Fleck was hired by Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak as wide receivers coach, replacing Carnelius Cruz.[6] Fleck was retained as wide receivers coach by new head coach Jerry Kill in 2008.

In 2010, Fleck was hired by Rutgers University as the wide receivers coach under head coach Greg Schiano.

On February 2, 2012, he was hired as the offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois University. Coach Dave Doeren said the following about Fleck's hiring, "We spoke at length about why this is the right place for him. It was very evident to me that he bleeds NIU, and he would have tremendous pride and passion working not just for me, but for the university to help continue what we started last year, and really what he started here as a player. His recruiting abilities and passing game expertise, working alongside Coach Carey as our run game coordinator, will be a great combination for our offense."[7] Just one day later, on February 3, 2012, Fleck abruptly resigned the NIU position to accept a position as wide receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. The move reunited him with Schiano, who had recently left Rutgers for the Buccaneers head coaching job.

During his time with the Buccaneers, Fleck was known to wear cleats during practice, often running routes and simulating defenses with the receivers.[8][9]

Head coaching careerEdit

On December 17, 2012, Western Michigan University announced the hiring of Fleck as the new head coach, making him the youngest head coach and the first ever head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of college football born in the 1980s.[10] Fleck signed a five-year contract worth $392,000 per season that includes an assistant coaches’ salary pool of $825,000.[11] The previous head coach, Bill Cubit, earned $375,000 per year with an assistants salary pool of $723,000.[11] With the increased budget, Fleck intends to hire a dedicated recruiting coordinator – a first for the WMU football program.[11] Other candidates expressing interest in the job included Syracuse defensive coordinator (and later head coach) Scott Shafer, and Kent State offensive coordinator Brian Rock, both former WMU assistants.[12] WMU had also been in contact with Indiana State head coach Trent Miles and North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl, both of whom declined interest or withdrew from consideration[13]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Rank#
Western Michigan Broncos (Mid-American Conference) (2013–present)
2013 Western Michigan 0–0 0–0
Western Michigan: 0–0 0–0
Total: 0–0
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.

Personal lifeEdit

Fleck is a 2004 graduate of Northern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Fleck is married to the former Tracie Striebel. The couple has one son, Carter Joseph (C. J.), and a daughter, Paisley. Paisley was born on December 17, 2012, the same day Fleck was announced as the new coach at Western Michigan University.

Fleck is an avid runner and completed his first marathon in April 2009.[14]

Fleck and his wife annually host the P. J. Fleck "Live Your Dream" Football Camp that benefits the Juvenile Arthritis Foundation (Friends of Carra), Alopecia Foundation (Locks of Love), Coach Kill's Cancer Fund, and the P. J. Fleck Scholarship Fund.[14]


  1. "Western Michigan hires P.J. Fleck as new football coach - Chicago Tribune". Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  2. "NIU Bio P.J. Fleck". Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  6. "Archive". Daily Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  7. "Fleck, Uremovich Return to NIU as Doeren Completes Coaching Staff". Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  8. "Blog Archive » The Influence Of P.J. Fleck - Tampa Bay Bucs Football". 2012-08-08. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  9. Courtesy WMU Athletic Media Relations (2011-11-01). "New Western Michigan football coach P.J. Fleck brings an 'upbeat' style to Broncos". Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  10. "Western Herald – P.J. Fleck annouced as 15th WMU head football coach". Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Matt Gade (2011-11-01). "WMU football coach P.J. Fleck will make slightly more than Bill Cubit; AD vows six-figure increase in assistants' salary pool". Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  14. 14.0 14.1 "P.J. Fleck Profile - Northern Illinois Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 2012-12-19.

External linksEdit

Template:Western Michigan Broncos football coach navbox

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