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WMU Announces Details of Agreement Giving P.J. Fleck ‘Row the Boat’

Dylan Buell, Getty Images
Dylan Buell, Getty Images

Today, Western Michigan University announced the details of an agreement which allows former head football coach P.J. Fleck to assume ownership of the mantra “Row the Boat.”

“Row the Boat” was the catch phrase for Western Michigan University football. The phrase grew in popularity last season as the Broncos recorded a 13-0 regular season record, won the Mid-American Conference championship and played in the Cotton Bowl against the University of Wisconsin.

Today, “Row the Boat” is the property of former WMU head coach P.J. Fleck. Fleck is now head coach at the University of Minnesota.

Fleck will legally assume ownership of the phrase and be able to use or transfer it at will. The phrase is personal for Fleck and grew out of the way he and his family coped with the loss of an infant son.

As part of the agreement, Fleck will make a yearly gift of $10,000 to support a scholarship to be awarded to a Bronco football player. The Fleck Family Football Scholarship will be awarded each year beginning in fall 2017.

The Fleck scholarship gift follows and builds upon an earlier $50,000 gift commitment Fleck made to WMU. The gift was made as part of a larger capital campaign drive to renovate the Waldo Stadium coaches offices as part of stadium renovations completed in preparation for the Broncos’ 2016 season.

The University will retain the right to use “Row the Boat” in its football materials and displays, recognizing and celebrating Fleck’s tenure at WMU and the teams he coached.

“From a facility aspect we are still evaluating plans on how to celebrate the past four years while embracing our future with Coach Lester,” Western Michigan Director of Athletics Kathy Beauregard said. “Coach Fleck has a contract obligation to Western Michigan for $600,000. This amount is being analyzed for how it may be used in any changes to the Bill Brown Alumni Center and Waldo Stadium.”

Map Shows Path to Row a Boat From Kalamazoo to Minneapolis

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