April 14, 2024

Follow the author on Twitter: @Atalanca

With the rumors all but official now, Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell will be announced as the new head coach at Cincinnati. After rumors have circled around for a few weeks that teams were interested in Fickell, it seems like Cincinnati has finalized with Fickell making him the new Bearcats coach. Reports are also saying that Fickell will bring DB coach and Cincinnati native, Kerry Coombs, along with him to Cincinnati to be his defensive coordinator.

First off, I wholeheartedly give my congratulations to coach Fickell. This man embodied everything you would want in a Buckeye coach. He started off as a player here, and eventually got a job under the Tressel regime. After Tressel resigned from the head coaching position, most of us remember there was a one-year bridge gap before Urban Meyer became the coach. Most people will remember that season because of the 6-7 record, but I’ll remember it because of the great job Luke Fickell did.

Nobody told Fickell he had to take this interim head coaching job for a year. Fickell knew he wasn’t the long-term head coaching option for the Buckeyes, but he decided to take the job anyway. He’s a true Buckeye and I admire the hell out of him for taking the job for a year and being thrown into the fire. The team was a disaster that year and we all know that Buckeye fans do not accept losing seasons. I’ll still remember going absolutely nuts when Braxton threw that Hail Mary against Wisconsin during Fickell’s reign as the head coach.

After that 6-7 season, nobody, and mean absolutely nobody, thought Urban would retain Fickell on his coaching staff. But Urban did and I think that instilled some confidence into Fickell. Fickell has shown that titles did not mean everything to him as he took the title of “Co-Defensive Coordinator” with both Chris Ash and Greg Schiano. Again, to me, that’s what being a true Buckeye is about. He coached some great Buckeye linebackers to the NFL including Ryan Shazier, Darron Lee and soon to be, Raekwon McMillan. The players love him, high school recruits love him. In just about a five year sequence, Fickell went from a nice one year story to one of the staples of the Buckeye defense and coaching staff.

In terms of Buckeye recruiting, the losses of Fickell and apparently Coombs are tough. They were two of the best Ohio State had. Fickell was unbelievable at sitting down with recruit’s families and convincing them that Ohio State had the best team and family atmosphere. After all, he’s been through it all from starting as a linebacker to becoming a co-defensive coordinator. The same with Coombs as well, I’ve never seen a man have so much energy and juice before in my life.

However, the great thing about Urban is that he’s always thinking. Rumors have stated that Fickell told Urban at the beginning of the season that he wanted to become a head coach next season. So don’t think for a second that Urban doesn’t have a few options in mind. Urban closes quickly on coaches, so I would expect to hear an announcement in the next week.

Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Coach Fickell. You have embodied what it means to be a Buckeye and us fans will always be appreciative for you. Oh, and hey, beat Michigan next year.

Follow the author on Twitter: @Atalanca

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