Fleck gets ‘Row the Boat,’ to fund WMU football scholarship

P.J. Fleck
Western Michigan University head coach P.J. Fleck talks about the Group of 5 during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl media day Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016.


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Former Western Michigan University football head coach P.J. Fleck will be taking his “Row the Boat” motto with him to the University of Minnesota.

Fleck and WMU agreed that “Row the Boat” will become the legal intellectual property of the former head coach, according to a university news release.

As part of the agreement, Fleck will fund a $10,000 scholarship which will be awarded to a Bronco football player. The Fleck Family Football Scholarship will start in fall 2017, the release said.

A Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows the tunnel to Western Michigan University's Waldo Stadium, touting former head coach P.J. Fleck's motto.
A Feb. 15, 2017 photo shows the tunnel to Western Michigan University’s Waldo Stadium, touting former head coach P.J. Fleck’s motto.

The university will be able to use the motto in materials and displays when referring to Fleck’s time as head coach.

Fleck has said “Row the Boat” came to be after he lost his second son to a heart condition on Feb. 9, 2011 shortly after birth. He said after he lost his son his life changed and it became about serving and giving.

Fleck became WMU football’s head coach in 2012. Under Fleck’s leadership, the Broncos had a 13-0 season, won the Mid-American Conference championship and made it to the Cotton Bowl.

In January, Fleck accepted the head football coach position at the University of Minnesota under a five-year deal.