Associate AD / Communications
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees approved a contract extension through 2028 for head football coach Luke Fickell on Tuesday.
In addition to adding two years to his current contract, Fickell’s annual salary will increase to $5 million and his football staff salary pool will increase to $5.2 million per year.
“Completing a contract extension for Coach Fickell was a top priority for our athletic department and university, and shows our commitment to growing this football program and taking it to the next level,” Director of Athletics John Cunningham said. “We believe we have the best coach in the country and certainly the best leader for our Cincinnati football program. He has proven that day in and day out by building a culture that consistently wins and breaks records, but most importantly develops men of great character, setting them up to succeed in life. I can’t thank President Neville Pinto enough for his leadership and work on getting this contract completed.
“We share Coach Fickell’s vision to grow the program. This new contract ensures that we are united and committed to enhancing our university and continuing to impact the lives of student-athletes – core missions of our athletic department. This is also a major step towards making sure we will be ‘Day One Ready’ and prepared to compete for championships when we join the Big 12 conference.”
In just five years, Fickell has emerged as one of the nation’s top coaches and positioned Cincinnati football as an elite program capable on consistently contending for championships. Fickell was the consensus national coach of the year in 2021 after leading the Bearcats to a second consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship and UC’s first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Cincinnati has finished in the Top 25 for four straight years with final rankings of No. 8 in 2020 and No. 4 in 2021.
“I appreciate the support of the leadership at the University of Cincinnati, including Director of Athletics John Cunningham and President Neville Pinto, as well as the Board of Trustees, our fans and our whole university and Cincinnati community,” Fickell said. “John and President Pinto share my vision for how we want to grow this program and take it to the next level, and that’s by investing in people – not just the head coach – and providing the necessary resources to prepare student-athletes to be at their best on and off the field.
“I’m truly honored to be the head coach of the University of Cincinnati and excited to keep working with our phenomenal student-athletes and administration to continue to develop our program. Now, it’s time to get to work!”
Remarkably, Fickell, whose record at UC is 48-15, will head into his sixth season at UC needing just six more wins to become the winningest coach in school history.
Fickell’s Bearcats have excelled in the classroom, as well. Impressively, 100% of Cincinnati football players who have played four years under Fickell have graduated. UC also led the nation with six Academic All-District picks and a school-record four Academic All-Americans in 2021, including first-team selections Desmond Ridder and Alec Pierce.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Fickell took the helm of the Bearcats in 2017 after serving in various assistant coach and coordinator roles at his alma mater, Ohio State, since 2002, as well as the head coach for the Buckeyes in 2011.
Fickell is one of the founders of the 2nd & 7 Foundation, which promotes reading by providing free books and positive role models to kids in need while encouraging young athletes in the community to pay it forward.
He and his wife, Amy, have six children: Landon (a freshman on the UC football team), Luca, twin sons Aydon and Ashton, and twin sons Laykon and Lucian.
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Current season ticket holders have until Feb. 28 to renew their tickets for 2022. The Bearcats Ticket Office is also accepting deposits for new football season tickets here. There are less than 2,000 deposits available.
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