What Now? Filling Fleck’s Shoes Critical
If you make the argument that P. J. Fleck's hiring was the most important hire in Western Michigan sports history, the finding his replacement would rank as 1-A.WMU AD Kathy Beauregard has an almost impossible task. Fleck was a once-in-a-lifetime force of nature. There was a cult of personality, especially when it came to recruiting. Reading that Fleck had an in-coming class of approximately 25 Three Star recruits makes his leaving that much more painful.
Maybe there is someone who can sustain the success that Fleck and WMU has achieved in the past few seasons, but it certainly appears that may this foundation was building on shifting sands. So much of this was all about Fleck. Take a look at Sports Illustrated's and others coverage of Fleck. He was able to do what virtually no coaches at this level can do. He got quality players to come to Kalamazoo.
In the end, though, what we all knew deep down inside, was true. Schools like Western are nothing but stepping stones to bigger jobs. I don't know Fleck's thinking, but it's true, if Fleck can turn Minnesota around, his ticket is written, certainly in college, but let's not forget, he has coached in the NFL.
Speculation is, if Jim Harbaugh ever goes back to the NFL, it would be as coach of the Chicago Bears. Just remember where you read this: don't discount P. J. Fleck as a future coach of the Chicago Bears. If he turns Minnesota around, and the timing is right, he's an Illinois boy. What would be a bigger accomplishment than turn around one of the original franchises of the National Football League?