# 1 Minnesota Gives Coach PJ Freck a New 7-Year Contract

Minneapolis (AP) — The importance of sustainability is highlighted by the endless supply of mottos and slogans that Minnesota coach PJ Freck uses to guide players and promote the program.

Fleck and the Gophers took the latest steps to perpetuate its value on Wednesday, signing a new seven-year deal that will last until the 2028 season.

“We can not only make a living here, but we can make a living here. I think it’s very difficult to find it in our profession,” he said, earning $ 4.65 million this year before the incentive. Fleck, who was out, said.

Minnesota, who heads the Big Ten West Division in the remaining four games, has added two years to Freck’s contract, giving him a nominal annual salary increase, increasing his assistant’s budget, and increasing the buyouts he has to pay to college. I was supposed to leave early for another job.

“PJ is real when he says he wants to be here,” said athletic director Mark Coil. “We have a coach whose people pay attention to the landscape of the country, and his name comes up a lot, so from an institutional point of view, it feels like that high buyout clearly provides protection. increase.”

This transaction, awaiting approval by the university board, is arguably important not only for money and duration, but also for goodwill and symbolism.

In 2022, the first full year of the new contract, Fleck will raise $ 300,000, about 6%. Instead of raising his salary, he now receives a flat annual salary of $ 5 million. Standard bonuses (for example, $ 100,000 to win or tie a Western title) remain. When Gopher reaches eight and nine regular season wins, he will add $ 100,000 each. Supplementary payroll pools aimed at attracting, retaining and rewarding assistants will also rise from $ 200,000 in 2021 to $ 350,000 next year.

The biggest increase was the closing fee to be paid to Minnesota if Freck jumped into another program. Acquisitions in the first year were only $ 10 million, but in the next four seasons, $ 4.5 million to $ 7 million in 2023, $ 3 million to $ 5 million in 2024, and $ 3 million to $ 400 in 2025. There was a surge of $ 10,000, $ 2 million to $ 3 million. In 2026.

Fleck’s name was widespread in media speculation about recent head coach vacancies in Florida, Tennessee, and the USC, which have not elected a full-time successor to Clay Helton. Even if those connections are all smoke and there is no fire, it doesn’t matter in a novel recruitment circuit when it comes to competing for prospects with other schools.

“That’s why you’re doing it now. You put it to sleep. After leaving West Michigan in 2017, Freck, 32-21 years old, said in more than four seasons with Gophers.

He signed the last page of the agreement on Wednesday in front of his player at the end of the practice.

“It was about them, so I wanted them to understand why I was doing it. One day I brought my family back and had the same culture here as they played. It was, “Frec said.

Fleck, who turns 41 on November 29, finally increased his contract and extended it to 2019. The Gophers finished 11-2 that year and were ranked 10th in the Associated Press final vote. This is the fourth adjustment made to his first 2017 contract and he is currently in the upper middle class in terms of head coach rewards for 14 teams of Big Ten.

Minnesota (6-2, 4-1) landed 20th in the first edition of this week’s College Football Playoff Rankings after defeating Northwest 41-14 with four consecutive victories.

Illinois is due to come to town on Saturday, and Gopher is alone at the top of their division. Their biggest test is the finale of the regular season with their rival game in Iowa on November 13th and Wisconsin on November 27th, a match that will determine the Western title.

“I think this sends a strong message that we want to make Minnesota our destination. There’s no reason we can’t do that here,” Coil said. “There is no reason why we cannot compete at a high level. It is our responsibility to continue to progress and grow.”


Other Associated Press College Football coverage: https: //apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the Associated Press College Newsletter: https: //apnews.com/cfbtop25