WMU to play at USC in 2017

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Since his first day as head coach of Western Michigan, P.J. Fleck has said that he wants his team to play the best competition possible.

A road game against a program that has won 11 national championships fits that billing.

WMU announced Wednesday that the Bronco football team will play a game in Los Angeles against the University of Southern California on September 2, 2017.

Here’s a release from the university:

“I couldn’t be happier about our partnership with USC in 2017,” commented head coach and reigning Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year P.J. Fleck. “An enormous amount of time and work has been invested by Pat Haden and Kathy Beauregard to put together this monumental game. I would like to thank Alec Gores and his family for their effort in putting these two incredible institutions together. We are looking forward to coming to the great city of Los Angeles and playing one of the most historic football programs of all time.”

The idea for the game was initiated by WMU alum Alec Gores, a Beverly Hills resident and businessman. Over dinner with USC president C.L. Max Nikias and director of athletics Pat Haden, Gores discussed his desire to see his alma mater play the Trojans. From there he contacted WMU athletics director Kathy Beauregard. Gores, as a proud alum and member of the 1974 and 75 football teams, connected the two sides and discussions began over the game. The final contract was signed by Beauregard and Haden in Gores’ home in Beverly Hills in the presence of Fleck and WMU President Dr. John M. Dunn.

“Being a life-time Bronco, one of my memorable moments was when Alec reached out to Western Michigan after not being connected with the University for many years,” said Beauregard. “He felt so much pride for his experience with the team and wanted to reconnect with WMU. With the initiation of this game we look forward to build upon many more opportunities together. We owe a special thanks Alec for putting us together with President Nikias and AD Haden.”

“The biggest accomplishments require the greatest risk. I took the risk in calling Kathy Beauregard and initiating contact to help in any way to make this game possible,” said Gores. “I’m extremely proud of my degree from Western Michigan and my time with the football program. There is no better way to show my pride for WMU than helping arrange this game.”

Western Michigan also announced their spring practice schedule on Wednesday, which will start on on March 18 at 9 a.m. and culminate with a spring game on April 18 at 1 p.m.

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