We all knew this was coming, didn’t we?
Earlier this week, former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill took a blowtorch to the reputation and character of an active coach the likes of which you rarely see (on the record, at least), with his target being current Minnesota head coach and former Kill assistant PJ Fleck.
The bulk of his criticism came on the way Fleck supposedly treated Kill’s former players and culture, but he saved plenty of bullets for Fleck himself, saying his “ego gets in the way.” “He’s about himself,” Kill said. “… You just don’t treat people that have been with you and helped your career, and you don’t even talk to them once you get the job.”
On Thursday, it was Fleck’s turn.
Saying he respected Kill but didn’t understand the criticism of his former boss, Fleck told KTLK-AM in Minneapolis, “The one thing that’s really important to me is our players.”
Fleck couldn’t let Kill’s criticisms (and that’s putting it lightly) go unanswered but, regardless of his personal feelings on the matter, Fleck had to respond in a certain type of way. It did him and his employer to return volley in a flame war with his predecessor and former boss.
Kill said his peace, and Fleck had no choice but to take the high road and, to use a Fleck phrase that no doubt irks Kill, keep rowing the boat.