Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck has reportedly been contacted in the Oregon coaching search.
With Tom Herman now off the coaching market, thanks to a hefty payday from the Texas Longhorns, Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck is now the hottest commodity. His name is likely to be attached to any premier position that opens.
One of those, as of Tuesday night, is Oregon. The Ducks fired Mark Helfrich after four years at the helm and a 37-16 record. While the overall mark is not glaring, the program has been on a decline the past two years after posting 11-2 and 13-2 marks in his first two seasons, respectively. Helfrich went just 13-12 in 2015 and 2016.
Oregon now turns its attention to finding a replacement for Helfrich and has made contact with Fleck’s representatives to gauge the coach’s interest. According to Football Scoop, “clearly there is interest” from Oregon in Fleck. The Ducks have done the same with Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Fleck addressed the talk that he’s a candidate for openings.
“I am 100% focused on Ohio,” Fleck said. “Talking to nobody until after the MAC championship game. Period. Period.”
In addition to Oregon, Fleck’s name has been attached to the open Purdue job.
Prior to landing the head coaching gig with Western Michigan, Fleck held several stints as a wide receivers coach, his latest being a 2012 stop with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played college football for Northern Illinois before spending two years with the San Francisco 49ers. After his NFL venture, he joined Ohio State as a grad assistant in 2006.
So far through four years at Western Michigan, Fleck has a 29-21 overall record. He took over a program that went 4-8 the year prior to his arrival, broke it down and built from the ground up, improving year after year. The Broncos were 1-11 in his first season, 8-5 in years two and three, and 12-0 in 2016. Western Michigan’s finishes in the MAC West under Fleck, in chronological order, has been T-5th, 3rd, T-1st and 1st. He’s also taken Western Michigan to two bowl games and could have the Broncos playing in a New Year’s Six Bowl this year.