American Football Database
Luke Fickell
File:Luke Fickell in 2014.jpg
Fickell at the 2014 spring game
Current position
TitleHead coach
Biographical details
Born (1973-08-18) August 18, 1973 (age 48)
Columbus, Ohio
Playing career
Position(s)Nose guard
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
AAC Coach of the Year (2018)
AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year (2010)

Lucas Joseph Fickell (born August 18, 1973) is an American football coach and former player. He is the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati after being hired in December 2016. Fickell had previously spent most of his career at The Ohio State University, first as a player and then as an assistant coach from 2002 to 2016. Fickell also served as interim head football coach for the 2011 Ohio State Buckeyes football team after the resignation of Jim Tressel.

Playing career

Fickell started his playing career at DeSales High School, where he was a two-time first team All-Ohio defensive tackle as well as a three-time state champion in wrestling. [1] After redshirting for the Buckeyes in 1992, Fickell was a standout defensive player, making a school-record 50 consecutive starts at the nose guard position from 1993 to 1996,.[2] In his freshman year, he lined up next to Dan Wilkinson. Despite having a torn pectoral muscle, Fickell started the 1997 Rose Bowl, making two tackles in the Buckeyes victory over Arizona State.[3] After graduating from Ohio State in 1997, Fickell signed as an undrafted free agent with the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL) .[4] After tearing the ACL in his knee, he spent the remainder of the season on the injured reserve list and was later released by the team.[4][5]

Coaching career

Ohio State

After a brief stint in the NFL, Fickell fulfilled a childhood dream by joining the Ohio State Buckeyes coaching staff as a graduate assistant with the Buckeyes in 1999 under his former coach, John Cooper. In 2000, Fickell was hired by the University of Akron as the defensive line coach.[6] After two seasons with the Zips, he returned to Ohio State in 2002, this time as the special teams coordinator under second-year head coach, Jim Tressel.[2] In 2004, Fickell took over as the linebackers coach, adding the title co-defensive coordinator to his responsibilities in 2005.[2] In 2010, he was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the AFCA, joining a list of Buckeyes coaches to be recognized by the association that also includes Carroll Widdoes, Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce, and Jim Tressel.[7]

Fickell was promoted to assistant head coach, then became interim head coach during Jim Tressel's five-game suspension to open the 2011 season.[8] However, on May 30, 2011, Tressel resigned amid an NCAA investigation and Fickell was appointed to the position of head coach.[9] After an underwhelming 6–6 regular season, on November 28, Fickell's stint as head coach ended with the hiring of Urban Meyer. He coached the Buckeyes one last time in the 2012 Gator Bowl against Meyer's old team, the Florida Gators.[10]

On January 15, 2012, Fickell was introduced as Meyer's co-defensive coordinator.[11][12]


On December 10, 2016, Fickell was named as the 39th head coach of the University of Cincinnati, taking the place of the resigning Tommy Tuberville.[13] In his first season, Fickell led the Bearcats to a 4-8 record.

2018 would be a historic turnaround of the program finishing with an 11-2 record and a victory in the Military Bowl. Fickell was named AAC Coach of the Year for the 2018 season, which was only the third 11-win season in UC history.


Luke Fickell and his wife, Amy (Goecke), who has a physical therapy degree from Ohio State, have six children -- five sons and one daughter -- including two sets of twin boys.[14][15] They started dating when Amy was a sophomore at Ohio State; they were married in 2000.[16]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (2011)
2011 Ohio State 6–7 3–5 4th (Leaders) L Gator
Ohio State: 6–7 3–5
Cincinnati Bearcats (American Athletic Conference) (2017–present)
2017 Cincinnati 4–8 2–6 T–4th (East)
2018 Cincinnati 11–2 6–2 3rd (East) W Military 23 24
Cincinnati: 15–10 8–8
Total: .553
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.


  1. Galbincea, Pat (September 1, 2011). "Luke Fickell could have been Ohio's best ... wrestler". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2[dead link]
  3.[dead link]
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Injuries are name of game at NFL camps". Albany Times Union. Associated Press (via HighBeam Research (subscription required)). July 24, 1997. Retrieved January 17, 2013.
  5. " - Year of uncertainty begins for Fickell". August 1, 2011.
  6. "Luke Fickell's athletic career - Fanbase". Archived from the original on January 22, 2013.
  7. "Ohio State Football".
  8. "Ohio State football: Fickell promoted to assistant head coach - The Columbus Dispatch".
  9. "NCAAF on Yahoo! Sports - News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games".
  10. "Gator Bowl 2012: Ohio State Vs. Florida In Urban Meyer Bowl".
  11. Lesmerises, Doug. "Luke Fickell, loyal Ohio State Buckeye, ready to be head coach again". Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  12. Rittenberg, Adam. "Meyer makes right call in retaining Fickell". Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  13. Rittenberg, Adam. "Cincinnati hires Luke Fickell as head coach". Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  14. "UC has hired Luke Fickell as coach".
  15. " Luke Fickell Bio :: The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site The Ohio State University Official Athletic Site :: Football".

External links

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