KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) Western Michigan introduced P.J. Fleck as its new football coach Tuesday.
The Broncos hired the 32-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Fleck played at Northern Illinois from 1999-2003 and later was an assistant coach there.
``It's great to be back in the MAC,'' Fleck said. ``My staff and I will make it our mission to bring excitement, energy and a winning tradition back to the Broncos. We will recruit, coach and develop young men of character the Bronco way. I can't wait to get started on this journey.''
WMU fired Bill Cubit with a year left on his contract the day after the Broncos lost their season finale to Eastern Michigan on Nov. 17. Western Michigan finished 4-8 and 2-6 in the Mid-American Conference.
Fleck surpasses Matt Campbell of Toledo as the youngest head coach in the FBS. Campbell turned 33 in November. Newly hired Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury also turned 33 this year. Fleck turned 32 in November.
``We wanted a coach that would bring limitless energy, passion, enthusiasm and opportunity to our football program both on and off the field, and we know that Coach Fleck is that person,'' athletic director Kathy Beauregard said. ``He stresses discipline and accountability in a positive and consistent manner and is someone that has been a winner at every level of his career.''
Fleck has worked for Bucs coach Greg Schiano the past three years. Fleck was the receivers coach at Rutgers before following Schiano to Tampa Bay this season to do the same job.
When England's all-time goalscorer signed on with D.C. United in June, the soccer community in the nation's capital was ignited.
Shortly after the excitement came the questions. How much does he have left in the tank? Can he actually carry a struggling D.C. United squad? Is he up for the task?
Wayne Rooney has responded.
Through 18 MLS matches, the 32-year-old now has 10 goals.
In the first half of Wednesday night's game against Toronto FC, Rooney broke a scoreless tie with this free-kick strike.
DC United currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, on 44 points.
MORE WAYNE ROONEY NEWS:
NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.
Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.
“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”
The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”
“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”
Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.
“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.