Amid UCLA rumors, P.J. Fleck ‘Ready for an ELITE 2024 season’ with Gophers

Head coach P.J. Fleck of the Minnesota Golden Gophers looks on against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the second half at Huntington Bank Stadium on November 04, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Fighting Illini defeated the Golden Gophers 27-26.  ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck clearly heard the noise, and went to social media Saturday to put out the fire.

Reports emerged Friday that Chip Kelly was leaving as UCLA football coach to be the offensive coordinator for Ryan Day at Ohio State. Almost immediately, national speculation began that Fleck was the top candidate to replace him and take over the Bruins’ program.

Fleck and his wife, Heather, are on their annual wedding anniversary vacation, which is normally a trip to Hawaii.

"Honored to be the Head Football Coach at Minnesota!! Ready for an ELITE 2024 season!! Now back to our wedding anniversary trip!!" Fleck posted Saturday night.

Fleck just finished his seventh season with the Gophers, one that ended with a 5-7 regular season and a win over Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl. He’s 50-34 at Minnesota, including 29-32 in Big Ten play.

Fleck’s best season came in 2019, when the Gophers went 11-2 and beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. He beat Iowa for the first time in seven years in 2023, but the Gophers still weren’t able to win the Big Ten West.

Fleck has one of his best recruiting classes coming to Minnesota in 2024. That includes New Hampshire transfer quarterback Max Brosmer, who led FCS in passing last season, and Esko star Koi Perich, one of the top high school recruits in the country.

The irony of being linked to the UCLA job? Fleck and the Gophers travel to L.A. to face the Bruins next October.