Although there has been no official word from Cincinnati itself, multiple reports have confirmed that Luke Fickell will be named the next head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats football program.
As first reported yesterday, Fickell has been in negotiations since yesterday but no official announcement has been made by the school. At this point, that is more of a formality than a confirmation of what appears clear, the current Ohio State co-defensive coordinator will be taking over at UC. According to ESPN, an official announcement will come later today, so stay tuned.
In the mean time here’s a little bit about Fickell. An Ohio State Buckeye through and through, Fickell has been on the OSU staff since 2002, even spending time as interim head coach during the 2011 season after Jim Tressel resigned from his post during an NCAA investigation. Fickell led the Buckeyes to a 6-7 record in that season despite facing some stiff challenges with the program in a bit of disarray following Tressel’s departure. Since that season, Fickell has served as the co-defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer, helping the Buckeyes to a 61-5 record in that time while winning a national championship.
This past season, Fickell was at the forefront of the defensive scheming that helped Ohio State rank fourth in the nation in total defense (281.6 yards allowed per game) and third in defensive S&P+.
It remains to be seen if Fickell will remain with OSU during its run in the College Football Playoff, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few leaks about what Fickell is planning once he gets to UC.
First, it appears that he may be taking at least one coach from the OSU staff with him.
Kerry Coombs is coming back! Reliable source says he will be Associate Head Coach under head coach Luke Fickell. #WLWT— George Vogel (@vogel_wlwt) December 10, 2016
Coombs is currently the cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator for OSU but appears to be taking on a larger role with the Bearcats. Coombs has deep ties to UC having worked on Brian Kelly’s staff and coached with the Bearcats for five years total. Prior to that he coached high school football in the Cincinnati area, specifically at Colerain High School.
In addition to Coombs coming with Fickell, there have been some leaks about what exactly Fickell wants to do at UC and the early indication is he knows what he needs to address (the offense) and has a plan for what to do.
Sources have told BCJ Fickell outlined his plan to implement a spread offense during interview process.— BearcatJournal.com (@BearcatJournal) December 10, 2016
Next question is who the OC will be
That type of comment is music to the ears of Bearcats fans who just watched their team average 19.3 points per game and rank 99th in the country in total offense.
That’s all the information we have for now as we wait for an official announcement. Plenty more details will be revealed once that occurs. Stay tuned.