Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell has signed a contract extension with the program through the 2028 season, multiple sources report.
Fickell, the compiler of a 48-15 tally in five seasons with the Bearcats, is expected to garner $5 million per season under his new deal. Perching him as the No. 3 highest-paid coach in the new Big 12, the contract provides the Ohio native with a $1.6 million increase in overall earnings each year.
“I appreciate the efforts of [athletic director] John Cunningham and president [Neville G.] Pinto, who realize in order for us to take the next step to grow the program and go to the Big 12 that we have to invest in people, not just the head coach,” Fickell said, as reported by ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Monday night.
Monday’s extension serves as a testament to Fickell’s growing fidelity with the Bearcats. He was widely considered a top candidate over the offseason for multiple job openings — Notre Dame, USC and others — but ultimately chose to stay with in Cincinnati following their CFP run. He has announced before that if he were to take another job, it would likely be somewhere in the Midwestern United States.
Under Fickell’s tenure, the Cincinnati Bearcats have found a myriad of success, both in conference play and against out-of-conference opponents. The Bearcats posted back-to-back undefeated regular seasons in 2020 and 2021, making the College Football Playoff in the latter of the two. Next season sets them up with an away opener vs. Arkansas, with a move to the Big 12 likely transpiring in 2023 or later.