WMU’s Fleck named Athlon’s Top 15 ‘Coaches on the Rise’

Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck was named one of Athlon Sports’ Top 15 “Coaches on the Rise.” (Leader photo/File)

Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck was named one of Athlon Sports’ Top 15 “Coaches on the Rise.” (Leader photo/File)

KALAMAZOO — Athlon Sports announced Monday that Western Michigan football head coach P.J. Fleck is one of their Top 15 “Coaches on the Rise,” with the third-year head coach and reigning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year lauded for his recruiting ability and a seven-win improvement from 2013 to 2014.

Athlon had this to say about Fleck:

“Fleck was hired to energize Western Michigan’s program and get the Broncos back into contention for MAC championships. So far, it’s safe to say Fleck has succeeded in both of those areas, as Western Michigan is among the favorites to win the MAC in 2015. The Broncos went 1-11 in Fleck’s debut, but were one of the most improved teams in college football last season. Western Michigan went 8-5 and made its first bowl appearance since 2011. Fleck is known as an ace recruiter, as this program has reeled in the No. 1 recruiting class in the MAC in back-to-back years.”

As the youngest head coach in FBS, Fleck won the MAC Coach of the Year Award in 2014 and was also a semifinalist for the national Maxwell Coach of the Year Award. The Broncos’ 2014 recruiting class, the best in MAC history according to Rivals.com, produced 18 players who saw game action this season for the Brown and Gold. Eleven different Broncos were recognized as All-MAC selections at the conclusion of the 2014 season, including MAC Offensive Player of the Year and MAC Freshman of the Year Jarvion Franklin.

The 2015 class projects to be similarly impressive, ranking as the best in the MAC and 57th in the nation according to Scout.com. The overall class is ranked ahead of notable Power Five Conference teams Indiana, Cincinnati, Kansas, Kansas State, Purdue, Oregon State and others.

Fleck signed a six-year extension with Western Michigan at the conclusion of the season, a contract designed to keep him in Kalamazoo through the 2020 season.

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