UC launches nationwide search for football coach after Fickell leaves for Wisconsin

Fickell is the winningest coach in Cincinnati program history
Luke Fickell leaves for Wisconsin
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 12:55 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 27, 2022 at 10:25 PM EST

CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The University of Cincinnati names special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs as interim head coach as the nationwide search continues to fill Luke Fickell’s shoes.

According to UC Athletic Director John Cunningham, internal and external candidates have been considered to replace the former head coach quickly.

“We’re going to find the best coach in the country,” Cunningham said. “I’m ready, we’re ready to find a coach who can help us win championships.”

Cunningham says the athletic department is looking for a coach that is able to recruit at a really high level, someone who is able to build a “tremendous staff” and someone who understands the level of play in offense and defense.

“We’re always going to look to invest in this program... we’ve always gotten the support that we need from campus and our donors,” Cunningham said.

Fickell informed the athletic department of his decision on Sunday and is expected to be named Wisconsin’s head coach in the coming hours.

He led UC to the College Football Playoff last season and his 57 wins in six seasons are the most in program history. His Bearcats won back-to-back American Conference championships and became the first Group of 5 teams to reach the college football semifinals.

In addition, Fickell has strong ties to the Big Ten since he played and coached at Ohio State.

He had been linked to other high profile jobs in the midwestern footprint but stayed at UC despite interest from Notre Dame and Michigan State.

The next game the Bearcats will play is whichever bowl game they are invited to attend with Coombs as their head coach.

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