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WMU AD: We're working to give P.J. Fleck a raise

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
P. J. Fleck

Money talks. And they're talking money.

As the hype continues to rise around Western Michigan football coach P.J. Fleck and his possible future destinations, the university's athletic director confirmed that an effort is underway to keep him in Kalamazoo for the foreseeable future.

AD Kathy Beauregard told The Detroit News on Monday afternoon that the school is working to increase Fleck's financial package through help from alumni and Broncos fans.

"We are working to explore ways to raise the compensation for Coach Fleck," Beauregard said.

"We have done that so far to keep him over this past year, and believe Coach Fleck is extremely committed to our student-athletes, university, community and alumni.

"We are exploring several different options to renegotiate his contract."

Fleck, 35, in his fourth year at Western Michigan, makes an $800,000 base salary, tops in the Mid-American Conference. Through attainable bonuses, he figures to make more than $1 million this year.

His contract, an extension signed a couple years ago, runs through 2020.

With openings at Purdue and LSU and other big vacancies likely coming this offseason, Western Michigan is putting on a full-court press to keep Fleck, who has the Broncos 8-0 -- one of nine undefeated teams in Division I -- and ranked 20th in the country.

WMU's P.J. Fleck set for ESPN's 'Car Wash'

"Don't just assume we can't keep him," Beauregard said. "Coach Fleck loves coaching his Bronco team.

"We couldn't be more committed to explore the options of retaining him as our head coach. Never underestimate what we believe we can make a reality rowing the boat together."

"Row the Boat," of course, is the slogan Fleck turned into quite the catch phrase in Kalamazoo and at Western Michigan, which trademarked the slogan in September 2015, meaning he can't take it with him if he does decide to leave.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter @tonypaul1984