University of Minnesota, Gophers coach PJ Fleck agree to new 7-year deal

Head Coach P. J. Fleck of the Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrates a touchdown during the first half of the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin.  ((Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images))

The University of Minnesota announced Wednesday morning it has agreed to a new seven-year contract with football coach PJ Fleck.

Pending approval from the school’s Board of Regents, the deal is for $42 milllion, which equals out to $6 million per year. He’s now under contract with the Gophers through the 2029 season. Fleck signed a seven-year deal last season to be under contract at Minnesota through the 2028 season. The new deal is essentially a one-year extension.

Fleck and the Gophers finished the regular season 8-4 after beating rival Wisconsin 23-16 to keep Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the second straight year. The Gophers are headed to the Pinstripe Bowl to face Syracuse on Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium.

"This is all about cultural sustainability," Fleck said in a statement. "We have talked about that from day one, and this new contract is a commitment to continuing to change our best academically, athletically, socially and spiritually. It is also a commitment to our elite staff and our tremendous fans. During the last six years, we have been able to do some amazing things at Minnesota, some of which have not been accomplished in more than 115 years. It is a tremendous honor to lead this football program, and our goal is to compete for championships every year. We are so grateful to the Board of Regents, President Joan Gabel, Mark Coyle and our staff for allowing us to do so. Heather and I and our family love living here and we are excited to continue on this journey with the entire state of Minnesota." 

If Minnesota beats Syracuse, the Gophers will have won at least nine games for the third time in the last four seasons, something that hasn’t been done since 1903-05. He's one of two coaches to lead Minnesota to at least nine wins in full consecutive seasons.

Fleck is 43-27 in five-plus seasons with the Gophers, including 26 wins in Big Ten play. He's also 3-0 in bowl games with the Gophers. Fleck's .614 win percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under their helm behind only Henry L. Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, '45-50).

Fleck was named Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2019, and led Minnesota to two top-10 wins that season, over Penn State and Auburn. The Outback Bowl win over the Tigers was Minnesota's first New Year's Day bowl victory since 1962.