Receivers coach P.J. Fleck's expected departure a major loss for Bucs
Bucs receivers coach P.J. Fleck, one of the bright, up-and-coming members of the team’s coaching staff, will end his brief tenure when he leaves to become coach Western Michigan, according to multiple reports.
Fleck, 32, has employed his enthusiastic hands-on coaching style to help veteran Vincent Jackson (1,226 yards) to a career year, while pushing third-year player Mike Williams to resurrect his career after his struggles of 2011. Under Fleck's tutelage, journeyman Tiquan Underwood has had his most productive season as a pro, after three years of struggling to stay on rosters.
Coach Greg Schiano was asked about the news today but declined to confirm, though he underscored Fleck’s importance to the staff. The news was first reported by the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette.
“Let me just say that P.J.’s an excellent football coach,” Schiano said. “And like a lot of guys on our staff, in years to come, people are going to come after them to be head coaches, whether it be in the NFL or in major college. We’ll deal with each one as it comes down the pipe.”
Fleck, a former standout receiver at Northern Illinois (also a member of the Mid-American Conference) and a member of the 49ers for two seasons, takes over a program from the fired Bill Cubit.
Before joining the Bucs, Fleck’s coaching experience was entirely at the college level. He is a former grad assistant at Ohio State and has been a receivers coach at Northern Illinois and Rutgers. Fleck was named offensive coordinator at Northern Illinois in February, resigning after only one day when Schiano offered Fleck his current post with the Bucs.