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Article updated: 12/18/2012 11:14 AM
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Western Michigan makes Fleck youngest head coach
 

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Western Michigan makes Fleck youngest head coach
  • Former Kaneland High School and NIU football player P.J. Fleck is the new head football coach at Western Michigan University. Fleck was the receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs.

    Former Kaneland High School and NIU football player P.J. Fleck is the new head football coach at Western Michigan University. Fleck was the receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Bucs. Submitted file photo

Ralph D. Russo

Editor's note: Western Michigan University is providing a live video link to introduce its new head football coach, former Kaneland and NIU star P.J. Fleck. Fans can watch live at 2 p.m. today on www.wmubroncos.com for free or catch a replay of the entire news conference shortly after its conclusion. Fans also may participate in a live chat with WMU Athletics. Fleck, who turned down a job as NIU's offensive coordinator last February, becomes the youngest head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. WMU also will be tweeting throughout the day from @kananmj and @WMUBroncoFans using the hash tag #Limitless as a tribute to Fleck's limitless energy, passion, and drive.

Western Michigan has hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck. The school confirmed the hire Monday and said it was would introduce Fleck at a news conference Tuesday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Fleck has worked for Bucs coach Greg Schiano the past three years. Fleck was the receivers coach at Rutgers before following Schiano to Tampa Bay this season to do the same job.

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Fleck excelled at Kaneland High School and played receiver for Northern Illinois from 1999-2003. He spent two seasons in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers before starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State under Jim Tressel in 2006.

Fleck spent three seasons as wide receivers coach at NIU before being hired by Schiano in 2010.

He surpasses Matt Campbell of Toledo as the youngest head coach in the FBS. Campbell turned 33 in November. Newly hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury also turned 33 this year. Fleck turned 32 in November.

WMU fired Bill Cubit with a year left on his contract the day after the Broncos lost their season finale to Eastern Michigan on Nov. 17. Western Michigan finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference, struggling to recover when senior quarterback Alex Carder injured his middle finger on his right hand during a win over Connecticut in September and missed six conference games.

Cubit was 51-47 overall and 36-27 in the MAC over eight seasons. He led the program to three bowl games.

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