Western Michigan has hired 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the school was not yet ready to make an announcement. The hire was first reported by the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Fleck has worked for Bucs coach Greg Schiano the past three years. Fleck was the receivers coach at Rutgers before following Schiano to Tampa Bay this season to do the same job.
Fleck played receiver for Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and spent two season in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers before starting his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State under Jim Tressel in 2006. He spent three seasons as wide receivers coach at NIU before being hired by Schiano in 2010.
He surpasses Matt Campbell of Toledo as the youngest head coach in the FBS. Campbell turned 33 in November. Newly hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury also turned 33 this year. Fleck turned 32 in November.
WMU fired Bill Cubit with a year left on his contract the day after the Broncos lost their season-finale to Eastern Michigan on Nov. 17. Western Michigan finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press