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Minnesota is investing in PJ Fleck and his staff like they've never invested in football before

Despite the Minnesota staff being one of the bottom paid coaching staffs in the Big Ten last season, PJ Fleck and his crew led the Gophers to a special 11-2 season. That success led to an increased investment in both Fleck and his staff.

Back in November, Fleck agreed to a 7-year contract extension complete with a raise from $3.1 million to $4.6 million, and the assistant coaching salary pool is being beefed up as well to a level Minnesota has never done before. The increase to the salary pool is something that Fleck fought hard for back when he got his new deal.

According to 247, the assistant coach salary pool (with one hire left to make following the departure of Rod Chance to Oregon) has increased from just over $3 million annually to $3.83 million. That figure for the staff is scheduled to climb another $200k going into 2021.

The departure of offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarocca for Penn State led to the hire of Mike Sanford Jr. as the Gopher's new offensive coordinator. Ciarrocca was set to make $1 million heading into 2020, and Sanford will make $625k in 2020 and $650k in 2021. On the defensive side of the ball, defensive coordinator Joe Rossi has received a revised deal as well after making $400k last year in his first full season calling the defense and will now make equal to what Sanford is getting.

All in, counting Fleck and the salaries of his coordinators and assistant coaches, Minnesota will pay $8.43 million to their football staff. That $8 million figure is a first for Gopher football in the history of the program.

The combined figure of Fleck and his staff salary pool ($8.43 million) is still behind what fellow Big Ten West programs Iowa ($9.5 million), Nebraska ($9.47 million) and Wisconsin ($8.52 million) pay their head coaches and staff.

The article also points out that six assistants - Kenni Burns (RBs), Matt Simon (Co-OC / WRs), Clay Patterson (TEs), Chad Wilt (DL), Joe Harasymiak (DBs / safeties / co-DC), and Rob Wenger (STC / Rush Ends) - are all entering the final year of their contracts.

Head here to read the full article with buyout information for each assistant from 247, and see the full staff's salary breakdown below.




PJ Fleck

Head Coach

$4.6 million

Mike Sanford Jr.

Offensive Coordinator / QBs


Joe Rossi

Defensive Coordinator / LBs


Kenni Burns

Assistant HC / RBs


Matt Simon

Co-Offensive Coordinator / WRs


Brian Callahan

Offensive Line


Clay Patterson

Tight Ends


Chad Wilt

Defensive Line


Joe Harasymiak

Co-Defensive Coordinator / Safeties


Rob Wenger

Special Teams Coordinator / Rush Ends