Luke Fickell wins Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Coach of the Year Award

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell stands on the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA...
Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell stands on the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Tulsa Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 11:59 AM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - University of Cincinnati Bearcats football coach Luke Fickell is this year’s winner for the American Heart Association’s Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award.

Fickell was one of nine coaches to be named as a finalist for the award named in honor of the legendary Bear Bryant.

“Thank you to the American Heart Association for saving lives and to the Bryant Family,” Fickell said Wednesday. “To be in the same realm of the guys nominated tonight, it’s an honor. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as ‘Bear’ Bryant is incredible. Football is the greatest team sport known to man. To us, ‘T-E-A-M’ means ‘Together, everyone achieves more.’ On behalf of the University of Cincinnati, an amazing coaching staff, this team and the seniors who created the atmosphere, culture, style, and expectation, it is my honor to accept this award. Thank you to our team and the 32 seniors that made this season incredibly special. It’s truly humbling and an honor. It has been an amazing ride.”

Fickell guided the Bearcats not only to an undefeated season but a spot in the College Football Playoff as the No. 4 team in the country. UC became the first Group of 5 team to ever get the CFP bid.

The Bearcats season came to an end with a loss against Alabama in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

Fickell has won several awards for his coaching performance this season.

He was named the 2021 Home Depot Coach of the Year, won the Dodd Trophy, and won the AAC Coach of the Year for the third time.

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