Will P.J. Fleck keep rowing the boat in the Twin Cities? The new Minnesota head coach certainly would like to.
Fleck told ESPN on Thursday that he is working with his old school Western Michigan about bringing the trademark phrase with him to the Gophers after making the mantra key to his turnaround in Kalamazoo.
“It comes from a very personal, personal tragedy in my life and that’s where ‘Row the Boat’ came from,” said Fleck. “So, I really hope they do see that, and [that] they are willing to allow me to take that, but we’ll see as we move forward. I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it, but I really hope because of what it means, that I have the ability to at least purchase it, take it with me, and continue to change other people’s lives through tragedy, through adversity, in just a different area.”
Fleck told the network that the phrase came about after he and his wife lost their second son to a heart condition. The Broncos’s board of trustees currently owns the trademark, but have stayed mum on turning it over to their ex-coach so far.
Given how these things usually play out, it seems like the phrase will eventually make its way to the Big Ten once the two schools agree on some form of compensation. After handing Fleck a five-year contract worth $18.5 million, that probably won’t be too much of a hurdle for Minnesota but it may take some times for everything to fall into place.
Until then? The head coach will probably stick with saying ‘elite’ quite a bit until he can bring his trademark phrase to Minneapolis.