P.J. Fleck gives off a strong first impression. Anybody that has sat in a room with him or even just listened to him speak can probably attest to that.

So when Fleck was interviewing for to become Rutgers wide receivers coach back in 2010, he met Kirk Ciarrocca for the first time.

Before Ciarrocca joined forces with Fleck at Western Michigan and now as Minnesota’s new offensive coordinator, he was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Rutgers. That meant Ciarrocca was in charge of interviewing Fleck to see if he’d be a good fit.

As it turned out, Ciarrocca walked out of the room. But it wasn’t because Fleck came on too strong.

Here was the story Ciarrocca told the media on Wednesday:

“We were looking for a receivers coach, and I actually met with PJ at the convention, the head coach called and asked me to meet with him, and I spent about five minutes with him and I knew he was the type of guy that we were looking for.”

“The funny part of the story is that there was another coach with me, and after five minutes…PJ came in a suit and he’s got this briefcase and all this stuff that he wants to show me, and after five minutes, the lady came and said ‘Your table is ready guys,’ and I told them ‘I’m good. I’m leaving.’ So I shook his hand and I left. He’s sitting there thinking, ‘What did I do wrong?’”

“I walked out of there and called the head coach, and said ‘Go ahead and bring him in for an interview. This is our guy.’”

Ciarrocca went on to say that when Fleck eventually got the head job at Western Michigan and he was offered the offensive coordinator position, it didn’t matter that he or his wife couldn’t pick out Kalamazoo, Mich. on a map. He believed in Fleck.

That move of course helped get Ciarrocca where he is today, which is leading the Gopher offense.

We’ll see how much progress he made in his first few months when Minnesota hosts its spring game on April 15.