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Gophers coach P.J. Fleck receives contract extension but no added raise

Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck looks on during pregame warmups before a game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Nov. 11, 2017. Jesse Johnson / USA TODAY Sports

The University of Minnesota and head football coach P.J. Fleck have agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2023, the school announced Wednesday morning.

The extension needs Board of Regents approval at its December meeting in order to become official, the school added.

In January, Fleck and the university agreed to a five-year, $18 million contract. Fleck’s annual salary starts at $3.5 million in 2017 and increasing by $50,000 each year through the 2021-22 school year. His new deal adds the 2022 season and is now set to expire Jan. 31, 2023.

Fleck’s new contract will continue the $50,000 annual bump to his compensation, but no additional raise is included, a school spokesman emailed the Pioneer Press.

Fleck’s $3.5 million salary for 2017-18 is 29th-most, according to the USA Today database of college coaches. It’s sixth-highest in the 14-team Big Ten.

Fleck, 36, will be available to the media after Wednesday’s practice at 10:50 a.m. at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex.

Fleck is 5-6 in his first year with the Gophers, heading into the regular-season finale against rival Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium. A sixth win would ensure bowl eligibility for the Gophers in a sixth consecutive year. Fleck has the most wins of any first-year head coach at Minnesota since Murray Warmath won seven games in 1954. Warmath is the last coach to lead the Gophers to a Big Ten championship in 1967.

“It’s an honor to coach at the University of Minnesota and in the Big Ten,” Fleck said in a statement. “Mark Coyle and I share the same goal of building a championship culture and team at Minnesota. It’s a goal that we are working on daily together and one that we will achieve. I am proud of how hard our young men have worked to improve this season on living a holistic life. They have taken great strides in bettering themselves athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. I look forward to leading them and watching them grow on and off the field as we continue to move this program forward.”

The Gophers have improved their strong academic standing under Fleck, posting a program-record grade-point average in spring semester. They also have championed many charitable initiatives, including routine visits to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital as well as a start-up turkey drive on Wednesday night to help families in need.

“When we hired Coach Fleck, I talked about his authentic energy and passion, and his dedication to building a unique team culture. This year, I have seen our students connect with his energy and embrace that culture,” Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in a statement. “From the commitment and hard work of our current students, to building a nationally ranked recruiting class that will be among the best in program history, I have seen the foundation of what Coach Fleck is building, and I’m looking forward to supporting him for years to come.”

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.