Ball State Cardinals

P.J. Fleck, a coach with both oars in the water, has unbeaten Western Michigan rowing in right direction

P.J. Fleck, a coach with both oars in the water, has unbeaten Western Michigan rowing in right direction

It is far too early in the morning — and far too gloomy — for this guy to be bouncing around like a maniac.

With a damp fog shrouding the football stadium at Western Michigan, P.J. Fleck darts from one drill to the next, urging his team through practice and barking into a wireless microphone. His voice booms from loudspeakers, cutting through the chill.

“Your how, your how,” he says. “Where is your how?”

The coach loves his slogans, cryptic as they might be. Grow Higher flashes from scoreboards above both end zones. On a hillside adjacent to the stadium, there are signs that players can...

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