Western Michigan hires Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck as new coach

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer
Bucs assistant P.J. Fleck has come back to the MAC. (US Presswire)

A former Northern Illinois wide receiver, then-Rutgers assistant P.J. Fleck nearly returned to the MAC in 2012 when he accepted -- and then shortly afterward un-accepted -- the Huskies' offensive coordinating job. This time, expect the return to stick: Western Michigan is expected to name Fleck its new head coach.

A source confirmed the hire to CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman. The news was first reported by the Kalamazoo Gazette.

At just 32 years of age, Fleck becomes the youngest head coach in the FBS, some 11 months younger than Matt Campbell of fellow MAC school Toledo. Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury is third-youngest at 33. Fleck is the first FBS head coach born in the 1980s.

Fleck is currently the wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a position that he accepted after his Rutgers head coach, Greg Schiano, took the same job with the Bucs last spring. Fleck had served under Schiano for two seasons at Rutgers before accompanying him to Tampa Bay; Fleck also spent one day as the new NIU play-caller under now-N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren before opting for the Buccaneers' wide receivers position instead.

In addition to his successful career at NIU, one that culminated in a 1,000-yard season and All-MAC honors in 2003, Fleck coached wide receivers at NIU 2007-09.

Fleck replaces Bill Cubit, dismissed after eight seasons in Kalamazoo and a 4-8 record in 2012. Cubit went 51-47 and took the Broncos to three bowl games but never won a MAC title.

In fact, the Broncos have not won a MAC championship since 1988 and haven't won so much as a divisional title since 2000; it's fair to say Fleck has his work cut out for him.

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