Mike LaFleur, the brother of new Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, also holds a coaching position in the National Football League.
In fact, both brothers – Mike is the younger sibling – hail from a family with a rich background in Michigan coaching.
The Packers announced on January 8, 2019 that Matt LaFleur, 39, would replace Mike McCarthy as the Packers’ head coach. He was signed to a four-year contract. Matt LaFleur was the Titans offensive coordinator. He was offensive coordinator in Los Angeles and quarterbacks coach in Atlanta previously, according to NFL.com.
Here’s what you need to know about Mike LaFleur:
1. Mike LaFleur Works for the San Francisco 49ers
Mike LaFleur is also charting a successful path in the coaching ranks of the NFL.
According to PackersWire, “His (Matt LaFleur’s) brother, Mike, is the wide receivers and passing game coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers.” That team is coached by Kyle Shanahan, referred to by PackersWire as “Matt’s old friend.” Mike LaFleur has been with San Francisco for two seasons.
According to the 49ers biography for Mike LaFleur, Mike LaFleur “began his coaching career at his alma mater, Elmhurst College, in 2009 as an offensive assistant working with the school’s quarterbacks. Other responsibilities included film analysis, offensive game planning and directing the scout team.”
In college, Mike LaFleur “was a team captain and three-time letter winner as a quarterback and safety at Elmhurst. He graduated with bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2009,” says the bio, adding, “Mike LaFleur is in his second season with the 49ers and first as the team’s wide receivers/passing game coordinator. He previously served as the team’s wide receivers/passing game coordinator in 2017. In 2017, under LaFleur’s tutelage, WR Marquise Goodwin set career highs in both receptions (56) and receiving yards (962) and his 17.2 yards per reception average ranked third in the NFL. Rookie WR Trent Taylor registered 43 receptions for 430 yards and two touchdowns. His 430 receiving yards were the most receiving yards by a 49ers rookie wide receiver since 2009 (WR Michael Crabtree – 625).”
The bio says that Mike also worked as a coaching intern for the Cleveland Browns; as a coach for Davidson College; and as a coach for Saint Joseph’s College.
Mike has described the differences between the two brothers, telling The Los Angeles Times, “I can put a smile on my face even when I don’t want to. Where Matt, I would say, wears his emotions on his sleeve.”
Matt joked to the LA Times that he saw his younger brother as a “pest” at times growing up, quoting Mike as revealing, “I obviously just looked up to him and wanted to be around him all the time. But he didn’t want anything to do with an elementary kid.” Today, reports The Times, the brothers are close and talk several times per week.
2. Some Wonder Whether Mike Might Join Matt LaFleur in Green Bay But One Report Calls That Unlikely
Different sites disagree about whether Mike LaFleur might follow his brother to Wisconsin now that Matt LaFleur is in a position to call the shots for the Packers.
PackersWire reports it’s possible that Mike LaFleur could join Matt LaFleur in Green Bay because they’ve worked together before on the staff of the Atlanta Falcons (according to the LA Times, Matt was quarterbacks coach in Atlanta, and Mike was an offensive assistant.) However, NBC Sports says it’s unlikely that Mike, 31, will join Matt, saying he seems content where he is and is under contract.
According to NBC, Mike LaFleur “was given the title of a coordinator after last season, and appears to be happy as one of Shanahan’s top offensive assistants.”
3. Mike LaFleur Once Joked That The Brothers’ Childhood Home Resembles Meet the Fockers
The family roots run deep in Michigan – the small town of Mt. Pleasant specifically – where the brothers grew up and their parents still live.
According to the Tennessean, Mike LaFleur joked that their parents’ home family wall resembles Meet the Fockers because it’s filled with “family memorabilia and achievements.” Their mother, Kristi, recalled how they wrestled each other growing up. “It drove me crazy!” she told The Los Angeles Times.
According to The Tennessean, Matt and Mike LaFleur’s parents are named Kristi and Denny LaFleur. Denny played linebacker for Central Michigan, helping the team win a 1974 Division II national championship. Kristi was a cheerleader. MLive.com calls Matt LaFleur “the son of former CMU assistant coach Denny LaFleur.”
Denny LaFleur’s LinkedIn page says he was a teacher and coach in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan from 1998 to present. He has a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Michigan.
Denny LaFleur “was a Central Michigan assistant for more than two decades before coaching and teaching at Mt. Pleasant High, where Kristi also taught and coached track and cheerleading,” reports the L.A. Times. Denny “lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife of 30 years, Kristi. He is a physical education teacher at West Middle School,” a short bio for CMUChippewas.com read.
Kristi LaFleur’s maiden name was Barringer and her dad, Bob Barringer, “coached football at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix in the 1960s and ‘70s,” The Tennessean reports. “My first date with Kristi,” Denny told the newspaper, “I was breaking down 16-millimeter game film with her dad.”
Kristi has worked as a competitive cheer coach, a teacher, and a softball and basketball coach.
4. The Brothers’ Mother’s Loyalties Have Been Divided at Some Games
According to The Los Angeles Times, her two sons’ coaching careers have divided Kristi’s loyalties at times. “Kristi LaFleur couldn’t decide which son to represent when Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur and San Francisco 49ers receivers coach Mike LaFleur meet in an NFC West matchup,” The Times reported in 2017.
She created T-shirts with a new name “The San Angeles Rammers,” according to The Times.
An old Facebook page of Mike’s says he studied at Elmhurst College, went to Mount Pleasant Senior High School, and was from Mount Pleasant, Michigan. His parents still live in that small town.
5. Mike LaFleur Is Married to the Former Lauren Ball
Mike LaFleur is married to the former Lauren Ball. According to her Facebook page, she studied at Elmhurst College, went to Mt. Pleasant Senior High School, lives in Cornelius, North Carolina, and is from Mount Pleasant, Michigan. The couple has a daughter named Addison.
They married in Mount Pleasant in 2010, according to the wedding announcement.
“The bride is the daughter of Michael and Cathryn Ball of Mt. Pleasant. The groom is the son of Dennis and Kristi LaFleur of Mt. Pleasant. Pastor Mark Christian officiated the double-ring wedding ceremony,” the wedding announcement in the Morning Sun reads.
Matt LaFleur served as his brother’s best man. The bride had “a marketing degree and is employed by the Fifth Third Bank Marketing Department,” the announcement said at that time. Matt LaFleur is also married – to wife, BreAnne.