Western Michigan introduces new football coach

Western Michigan introduces new football coach
December 18, 2012, 8:49 pm
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Western Michigan's new football coach, P.J. Fleck, speaks Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Fleck, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant, replaces Bill Cubit. (AP Photo/Kalamazoo Gazette, Matt Gade)

(APWF)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Western Michigan introduced P.J. Fleck as its new football coach Tuesday.

The Broncos hired the 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Fleck played at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and later was an assistant coach there.

``It's great to be back in the MAC,'' Fleck said. ``My staff and I will make it our mission to bring excitement, energy and a winning tradition back to the Broncos. We will recruit, coach and develop young men of character the Bronco way. I can't wait to get started on this journey.''

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.

Fleck 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.

``We wanted a coach that would bring limitless energy, passion, enthusiasm and opportunity to our football program both on and off the field, and we know that Coach Fleck is that person,'' athletic director Kathy Beauregard said. ``He stresses discipline and accountability in a positive and consistent manner and is someone that has been a winner at every level of his career.''

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.