P.J. Fleck focusing on Gophers’ football culture in first year

Row the Boat.




P.J. Fleck brought his own lexicon with him from Kalamazoo to Minneapolis.

He added another buzzword during a press conference Monday, defining “Purpose 3” after taking questions on the Gophers’ quarterback competition and the state of their receiving corps.

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“Each quarter of the year we have a new ‘Purpose 3’ and those are the three things we focus on,” he said.

But while the University of Minnesota football coach has brought a new vocabulary to the program, Fleck says he isn’t looking to simply graft his own ethos onto the Gophers.

He wants his own culture to become a core part of Gophers football.

“Instead of saying, ‘yeah, coach Fleck brought this culture in here,’ no, no, it’s our culture now,” Fleck said during a press conference Monday. “By the end of the spring, we want it to become our culture, where everybody understands it, gets it.”

After just six months on the job, Fleck says he’s seeing the effects first hand.

“When you talk about cultural sustainability, that’s what we meant when we talked on Big Ten media day, and to be able to have some things happen in the last six months I think shows the growth and shows how our players are really letting the culture dissolve inside of them,” he said.

Again and again, the conversation came back to culture.

“This culture is all about our players. And, again, I know I’m at the forefront of it as a head football coach but, like I said at Big Ten media day, my job is to bring national exposure, national attention, especially when you have no wins and losses, haven’t played one game, to the University of Minnesota and I think our staff has accomplished what we set out to do,” he said. “With, you know, obviously the reality show and things that are coming out and our recruiting that we’ve been able to do and facilities and be able to have, you know, our culture on full display.”

Fleck has already shown a reverence — or at least a willingness to adhere to — the Gophers’ sporting traditions.

Fleck showed up to Big Ten media day sporting a checkered blazer and maroon pants, and presiding over a rapid-fire 15-minute press conference.

“I’m sure you probably have enough to write from Big Ten media day,” Fleck said before launching into his follow-up presser. “I heard I had the most words.”