Source: Ohio State's Luke Fickell expected to become Cincinnati head coach
Ohio State co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell is expected to become the next head coach at Cincinnati. A source says his hiring is expected to be announced later in the day. (Update: Cincinnati announced Fickell's hiring later Saturday.)
Fickell replaces Tommy Tuberville who resigned Sunday after his fourth season with the Bearcats. Tuberville was 29–22 in his tenure in Cincinnati but finished 4–8 in 2016.
The 42-year-old Fickell has spent his entire coaching career in the state of Ohio, beginning as a graduate assistant at Ohio State, his alma mater, in 1999. He has been a Buckeyes defensive coordinator every year since 2005, except in 2011, when he served as interim head coach after Jim Tressel resigned. Fickell went 6–7 that season.
When Ohio State hired Urban Meyer to take over as head coach after the 2011 season, he retained Fickell as defensive coordinator.
Despite its losing record this season, Cincinnati is considered one of the top jobs in the Group of Five conferences due to its location, recruiting base and support from a university interested in making the jump to the Power 5. The Bearcats were among the top candidates to join the Big 12 when it considered expansion this fall, but the conference ultimately opted to stay at 10 teams.