MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota clearly is all in on new coach P.J. Fleck’s “row the boat” mantra.
T-shirts with the slogan were everywhere during the Gophers’ squishy season opener against Buffalo. Gold and maroon foam oars are being sold. The team carried an oar onto the field at the beginning of the game. Fans chanted “Row the boat! Row the boat.”
The team’s new helmets include the slogan from the back to the front. Mascot Goldy Gopher carried an oar. And Caribou Coffee debuted "ROW THE BOAT/GOPHER BLEND."
Even the marching band created a rather clever formation of oars rowing a boat during its halftime performance.
Fleck brought the saying with him from Western Michigan, where he led the Broncos to a 13-1 season in 2016, springboarding him to the Minnesota job
According to information provided by the school, “row the boat” translates to energy, sacrifice and direction buoyed by a “never give up” attitude.
Fleck shared with MLive.com in 2013 his thoughts behind it:
“Row The Boat is a method of how our whole program will fit together. It’s also a saying that has such a simple meaning, but there’s so much behind it in terms of a way for the whole community, the whole faculty, administration, players and student body can rally behind something greater than itself.”