Several Minnesota football players have jumped to the defense of their head coach following recent comments made by former program leader Jerry Kill.
Earlier this week, Kill slammed Fleck in a radio interview, saying he’s lost a lot of respect for the current Gophers head coach and that Fleck is “about himself.”
“Do I still root for the Gophers? I do,” Kill said. “Do I enjoy him running up and down the sideline? No. Do I think that he’s about the players? No. He’s about himself.
“You can’t tell me — you’ve watched him — you listen to his interviews, you think he thinks about the players? I just lost a lot of respect.”
Those comments didn’t sit well with several current Gophers. Guys like Carter Coughlin, Rashod Bateman, Tanner Morgan and others jumped to defend their head coach following Kill’s comments.
Just for the record – I absolutely love playing for Coach Fleck, EVERY day I see how much he cares about me and the entire team, and there are honestly few men I’ve met who I respect as much as Coach Fleck. Some people need to hear that!
— Carter Coughlin (@Cmoe34) February 21, 2019
BIG FACTS 🚣🏽♂️🤞🏽 https://t.co/KAlp1ktprg
— B E N N Y S A P P I I I (@benjaminsapp) February 21, 2019
— Rashod Bateman (@R_bateman2) February 21, 2019
— Tanner Morgan (@Tanner_Morg12) February 21, 2019
I know I only spent a short time with @Coach_Fleck but I came away inspired and an honest sense that he deeply cared about the players and the University. Hard to believe anyone could think differently pic.twitter.com/VEJPMXG36W
— Ken Seals (@KenSealsQB) February 21, 2019
Players Coach 🤞🏾🖤 https://t.co/XpOM9ANvup
— Kamal Martin (@KamalMartin6) February 21, 2019
That’s quite a bit of support from the players for a guy who is — you know — “about himself.”
Kill has been vocal about his animosity towards Minnesota since the program followed his long-time defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys following the 2016 season, despite a massive scandal the resulted in 10 player suspensions and a brief team boycott.
Following Claeys’ firing, Kill said he would never step foot on Minnesota’s campus again.
Since then, Kill has taken some jabs at Fleck and took exception to the energetic head coach saying that the program needed a culture change and would undergo a bit of a rebuild. Kill said Fleck “walked into a gold mine,” and that his first year in Minneapolis might be his best.
While Kill defends his coaches and has shown loyalty to “his guys,” it appears he’s way off base with his comments about Fleck not caring about the players. That’s pretty obvious when several players jump to the defense of their head coach.