WMU’s Fleck: Don’t assume I’ll be leaving

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News

The best coaches of the Mid-American Conference have historically found themselves being highly-sought after they’ve been able to string together a couple of big seasons.

After Western Michigan rolled off three straight wins, including two over Northwestern and Illinois, to the start this season, rumors have begun that Western coach P.J. Fleck could be the next coach to leave for a bigger conference.

Fleck, however, isn’t quite sure that now is the time for those kinds of rumors.

“I’m 20-21 as a head coach,” Fleck told The Detroit News’ College Football Show on Wednesday. “A lot of those guys that get a chance to move on were way above .500.”

Fleck also seems to genuinely enjoy what he deems an elite job coaching the Broncos.

“I love it here in Kalamazoo,” he said. “The people here have made it very nice for me. It’s an elite way of life for my coaching staff and myself.”

Fleck’s wife, Heather, is from Kalamazoo, and it appears that a run-of-the-mill “promotion” probably won’t be enough to extract the coach and his family from their roots.

“I’m able to see my children all the time,” Fleck said. “Sometimes, the grass isn’t greener on the other side. I’ve been miserable in my life before and that’s not a fun experience. I have a very joyful life, an incredible staff and players around me, and an administration that allows P.J. Fleck to be P.J. Fleck. That’s priceless.”

But if the success continues, Fleck is realistic about what the future could hold.

“No coach can guarantee that they will be in one place forever, but we do have a lot of unfinished business here,” he said. “We have turned this thing around and done it the right way, our way. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer.