PJ Fleck explains why it was more than football that brought him to Minnesota

Coach Fleck shocks Cory Hepola and "Rows the boat" for a good cause.

Hey, it's Cory Hepola
September 11, 2019 - 2:41 pm

Before PJ and Heather Fleck made the decision to leave Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI., they knew that their next location had to offer opportunities that were greater than just football. 

Entering year three of PJ's coaching tenure with the Minnesota Gophers, the Fleck family is making a profound impact on the University’s Masonic Children’s Hospital and they know they made the right decision. 

“It had to be a city that we could create our own fund, through a Children’s Hospital, and be able to serve a purpose way greater than ourselves,” Fleck said during ‘Hey It’s Cory Hepola’ on News Talk 830 WCCO.  “To be able to do something that I think is one of the first of its kind in college football. Our slogan is directly tied to a fund, directly tied to the University’s Children’s Hospital. 

We don’t make any money off of ‘Row the Boat’ in terms of gear or shirts sold. All of that money goes right into the Masonic Children’s Hospital and the ‘Row the Boat' fund.” 

Fleck’s in-studio appearance came as a complete surprise to Hepola, who was noticeably shocked with coach walked through the door. 

The Row the Boat foundation will benefit from a special menu at Red Cow and Red Rabbit restaurants in the Minneapolis area. The local chain is offering a burger, pizza and cocktail now through the end of October, with proceeds helping to fight childhood cancer. 

“We call it burgers with a cause,” said Red Cow Chef Trevis Langley who joined Hepola and Fleck in studio. “We donate a dollar for every one that we sell to a foundation of some sort and PJ’s (foundation) was great. Outstanding.” 

The burger is HUGE! It contains two ’60-40 patties. That means 60 percent ground beef and 40 percent ground bacon. It’s topped with white cheddar cheese, pickles and a slab of peanut butter on the bun. 

“I’m a huge peanut butter guy,” Fleck joked. “I love peanut butter on the burger and the first time I had that it was at Red Cow. It changes your life.” 

Listen: The full interview with Minnesota Football head coach PJ Fleck

The ‘Row the Boat’ pizza is a special blend of mozzarella, parmesans and white American cheese, topped with crispy pepperoni and green olives. 

Wash it all down with the special RTB cocktail. 

Listen to Coach Fleck explain the meaning behind Row the Boat: 


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