Western Michigan Football Coach PJ Fleck Leads Program with Focus on Community Engagement
Coach continues to make an impact on Kalamazoo community with numerous efforts
Kalamazoo, Michigan (PRUnderground) March 3rd, 2015
Western Michigan University head football coach P.J. Fleck has continued his efforts to make a positive impact on Kalamazoo through a variety of community engagement and volunteer initiatives.
Fleck, who will contribute to the upcoming Drive for Life event to help raise money for cancer research and local survivors, has taken part in a number of important causes in his first two seasons leading the Broncos football program. As part of the team’s “Row Your Boat” initiative, coaches and players regularly give out special “oars” to members of the community. These include yellow oars for U.S. troops returning to the community, pink for individuals fighting breast cancer, red for American Heart Association efforts and oars featuring puzzle pieces for young people with autism.
“While we focus intensely on winning football games, we also recognize that success in life goes far beyond the football field,” said Fleck. “We make strong community involvement and positive decision making a cornerstone of everything we do. There are some outstanding efforts and events happening in the Kalamazoo community all the time, and it gives us great pride to contribute whenever and wherever we can.”
In April, Fleck will speak at the 34th annual Drive for Life, an event that includes a raffle and live auction. Joining the Broncos coach at the event will be Jim Craig, the legendary goalie of the 1980 U.S. gold medal hockey team. Local companies Zeigler Auto Group and Greenleaf Trust of Kalamazoo have organized the effort, and they aim to raise more than $400,000 this year.
In addition to these initiatives, the Western Michigan football program’s Bronco for Life initiative gives student-athletes the tools and guidance they need to make a positive impact in their community both now and throughout their entire lives. Fleck and other WMU coaches teach several different courses to help players with issues like financial management, maintaining positive relationships, cooking healthy meals, dinner etiquette and professional development.
Fleck has also had success on the field, gaining recent national media coverage for his innovative approach to recruiting. He has led the Broncos to the most substantial one-year turnaround in the history of the Mid-American conference, improving from 1-11 in 2013 to 8-5 last season.
“Although Coach Fleck has only been here for two seasons, the impact he has had on Kalamazoo has been impressive,” said Aaron Zeigler, president of Zeigler Auto Group. “We are very grateful for the contributions he has made to some very important causes in our community, and it’s obvious that he has been able to have positive influence the values of his players. The fans of Western Michigan football are fortunate to have Coach Fleck leading the way.”
The 2015 Drive for Life will take place April 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in Kalamazoo.
About Zeigler Automotive Group
Zeigler Auto Group is a Kalamazoo-based company that offers a broad range of new and pre-owned vehicles through its more than 20 auto dealer locations throughout the U.S., including Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and New York. The organization also operates three finance providers, several insurance agencies, a comprehensive real estate portfolio and a leasing firm. Zeigler currently employs more than 800 people.