Cincinnati Bearcats Head Coach Luke Fickell
|Annual salary||$3.4 million|
|Born||August 18, 1973|
|1997||New Orleans Saints|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1999||Ohio State (GA)|
|2002-2003||Ohio State (ST)|
|2004||Ohio State (LB)|
|2005-2010||Ohio State (Co-DC/LB)|
|2011||Ohio State (Interim HC)|
|2012-2016||Ohio State (Co-DC/LB)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 AAC East Division (2019)|
1 AAC (2020)
|2x AAC Coach of the Year (2018, 2020)|
AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year (2010)
Luke Joseph Fickell (born August 18, 1973) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach at the University of Cincinnati. He started his career at Ohio State University, first as a player and then as an assistant coach. He was interim head coach at OSU for the entire 2011 season and accepted the head football coaching position with the University of Cincinnati in 2016.
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.  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. 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. 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). 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.
After two seasons with the Zips, he returned to Ohio State in 2002 as the special teams coordinator under second-year head coach, Jim Tressel. In 2004, Fickell took over as the linebackers coach, adding the title co-defensive coordinator to his responsibilities in 2005. 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.
In 2011, Fickell was originally named to serve as interim head coach in place of Jim Tressel, who was given a five-game suspension by the NCAA due to a recruiting scandal. However, in May of that year, Tressell resigned and Fickell was given a one-year contract to serve as interim coach, only for the 2011 season. 
After Ohio State posted a 6-6 regular season record, Fickell was passed up for the permanent head job, and instead Ohio State hired Urban Meyer. Fickell guided the Buckeyes one last time in the 2012 Gator Bowl against Meyer's old team, the Florida Gators. After Meyer took the helm, Fickell returned to his old job as co-defensive coordinator, a job in which he served until he was named head coach at Cincinnati.
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.
He led the team to another 11-win season in 2019. The Bearcats reeled off nine straight wins after falling to Ohio State in the second game of the year. The team won the east division championship in the AAC for the first time, but fell two straight weeks to Memphis, in the final regular season game and in the conference championship. For the second straight year, Cincinnati won its bowl game over an Atlantic Coast Conference team, winning the Birmingham Bowl over Boston College by a score of 38-6.
Before the start of the 2020 season Fickell agreed to a contract extension which would keep him at Cincinnati through the 2026 season. Fickell had previously received head coaching interest from other schools such as Michigan State,Florida State,West Virginia,Louisville, and Maryland.
In 2020, Luke Fickell led the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 9-1 campaign including Cincinnati's second perfect regular season which included winning the 2020 AAC Championship Game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane. Cincinnati was selected for the 2021 Peach Bowl against the #9 Georgia Bulldogs. Both teams went into the game down a number of key players due to injury, illness, or opt-outs, including Cincinnati's two All-Americans Ahmad Gardner and James Wiggins. After leading by a score of 21-10 entering the fourth quarter, Cincinnati ultimately fell to Georgia on a 53 yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the game, to a final score of 24-21 in an instant classic. Fickell was named AAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
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. They started dating when Amy was a sophomore at Ohio State; they were married in 2000. Fickell and his family are Roman Catholic, which played a factor in Fickell's interest in coming to Cincinnati.
|Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (2011)|
|2011||Ohio State||6-7||3-5||4th (Leaders)||L Gator|
|Cincinnati Bearcats (American Athletic Conference) (2017-present)|
|2018||Cincinnati||11-2||6-2||3rd (East)||W Military||23||24|
|2019||Cincinnati||11-3||7-1||1st (East)||W Birmingham||21||21|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title or championship game berth|
Fickell coached under:
Assistants under Fickell who served as college or NFL head coaches:
2. Was your Catholic faith a factor in choosing where you wanted to be a head coach? LF: "I'm not sure it was one of those things where you say, 'I've got to go to a place that has a high Catholic influence or community,' but my family, like I said, is the number one most important thing to me. And for my family to go to a place where they felt like they could thrive and truly set roots and say, 'We can live here for 10, 12, 15 years' or whatever ... to be in a community like this where there are a lot of options for schools, youth sports. There were a lot of factors, and obviously faith was a big part of that thought."