Current Job: Heac Coach University of Cincinnati
Bowl Record: 0-1
Current Salary: $2M
Current Buyout: $2.75M
Why He Can Succeed At Louisville
Luke Fickell has good pedigree. He’s an Ohio State graduate, played Nose Guard for the New Orleans Saints briefly. Went back to Ohio State as a graduate assistant, coached the Defensive Line at Akron, and spent his entire career climbing the ladder at Ohio State from 2002-2003. He was named Defensive Coordinator in 2005 and held that position until 2016. Fickell was also the interim head coach for the 2011 season as Jim Tressel was suspended and ultimately resigned as head coach. Fickell was 6-7 during that ill-fated Buckeye season.
From there, however, Fickell got his first head coaching position last year and inherited a Cincinnati Bearcat team that needed a lot of work. UC was 4-8 the year prior to his arrival, they went 4-8 in his first year and then in 2018 the Bearcats are back with a 10-2 record.
The Columbus, OH native knows the area well recruiting for Cincinnati as well.
Fickell has spent his entire career in Ohio. He’s an Ohio guy. Some people point to his 6-7 season at Ohio State as a guy who wasn’t ready. And they are right. He wasn’t in 2011. So 7 years later is his 2018 season a matter of “one good season”?
It’s hard to project that. We’ve heard good things about Luke Fickell, but it’s hard to figure out exactly what his future prospects might hold as a head coach.
Why He Might Be Attainable
Louisville is close to his area of expertise. He would get a raise and a power 5 job. It also does not appear that Ohio State will consider him when/if Urban Meyer steps down (it appears they are honing in on Ryan Day to name as coach in waiting), so Luke isn’t going to wait around forever to get a Power 5 job and the big paycheck.
Why He Might Not Be Attainable
Maybe he likes coaching Cincinnati? He’s an Ohio guy through and through and has spent a great deal of time in Columbus. Perhaps Fickell would rather wait for a Big Ten opening?