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Wisconsin to Hire Luke Fickell as New Head Coach

Luke Fickell
CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 25: Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell runs off of the field with his players at halftime of a college football game against the Tulane Green Wave on November 25, 2022 at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

Luke Fickell will be Wisconsin’s next head football coach, per multiple reports.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported that Wisconsin was targeting Fickell, and now, multiple reports say that the deal is virtually done and that Wisconsin wants to announce it later today.

Fickell, 49, had been the head coach at Cincinnati for the past six seasons, compiling a 57-18 record over that span with American Athletic Conference championships in 2020 and 2021. Last year, Cincinnati went to the College Football Playoff, the first Group of Five team to do so, losing to Alabama 27-6.

Fickell was named AFCA Coach of the Year, Home Depot Coach of the Year, Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year and Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year for the 2021 season.

Before arriving at Cincinnati, Fickell served on Ohio State’s coaching Staff for 15 seasons serving in a variety of capacities. He was the special teams coach in 2002 when Ohio State won the national championship. After the dismissal of Jim Tressel, Fickell became Ohio State’s interim head coach Ohio State in 2011 and went 6-7. Fickell stayed on staff and was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach under Urban Meyer when Ohio State won its most recent national championship in 2014.

Fickell will be replacing Paul Chryst, who went 67-26 at Wisconsin and won three big Ten West Championships before getting fired five games into this past season. Jim Leonhard was the interim head coach and went 4-3 to end the 2022 season.

Fickell will have his first coaching job outside the state of Ohio, which makes this an opportunity for Wisconsin to recruit in the fertile grounds in Ohio, as well as keep its in-state recruiting. Fickell can also recruit well in the south, and this is important with USC and UCLA coming into the conference in 2024.

Update: It’s official 

Twitter: @bwalkerdadon

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