OT: Urban says Fickell will coach defense

Submitted by Moleskyn on December 13th, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Per Rittenberg:

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said Luke Fickell will make the defensive calls in 2012 and have defensive coordinator in his title, although the final details are still being worked out.

Meyer, speaking Tuesday to WBNS radio in Columbus, said Fickell "will have the [coordinator] title. It might be 'co,' it might not, but at the end of the day, he'll be calling the defense."


We all knew he'd be kept on the staff in some capacity, so it looks like he'll still have a pretty good gig. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see him become Meyer's successor down the road. From what I've heard, he's not that bad of a coach, just needs some experience. D-Coordinator is a good place to learn and grow. That said, it will be great to see our offense torch them again like we did this year.


Pay the Dragon

December 13th, 2011 at 9:00 PM ^

Basically the 2 coaching staff works like this.  

One of them coaches the kids up for the bowl game and the other goes out and gets to solely recruit.  This is their punishment for cheating.  Instead of dealing with their punishment, the NCAA basically says you shouldnt fall behind in recruiting because you lost your coach, so we'll give you two coaching staffs. Meyer's another snake in the grass, and a perfect fit for TSIO.


December 14th, 2011 at 10:32 AM ^

They don't have two staffs. They have one staff that has so far 3 new guys, only one of who has actually started working for OSU and doing recruiting only. The staff also includes several guys who will coach the bowl game that won't be around next year, those guys aren't recruiting at all. The waiver by the NCAA allows us to go over the limit of 10 coaches, but only allows that 7 at any given time to recruit. BTW, UCLA just got approved for it too, Illinois will likely soon, Miami got it last year. And apparently Michigan didn't do it when they hired RR only because they hired him a month too late to qualify for it.


December 13th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

I really don't understand Fickell staying on staff at OSU. I wouldn't want to take a demotion like that, even if it meant I had to leave for Akron. Can anyone think of the last time a guy was a HC for an entire year and then agreed to work under the next guy? I can't think of any off the top of my head.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:03 PM ^

Or maybe he really loves OSU. DC is a good gig, I know 100% that if I were in his position at UM I would do the same thing. I would have to swallow my pride, but it would still be the second best job for me (second only to the HC position, which he is likely in line for).


December 13th, 2011 at 5:07 PM ^

But...if your ambition is to be the HC at Michigan, the more common route is to take a job at a smaller school and work your way up through the HC ranks. In the Big Ten today, Fitzgerald (death), Bradley (who will be gone shortly) are the only people I can think of who were promoted from within. Most AD's want to hire someone with HC experience.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

Its quite possible that he was given a guarentee to be Meyer's successor, and with Meyer's past health issues its possible that he would have another chance at HC. Apart from that, we don't know how his HC ambitions weigh compared to his love for OSU. Like I said he already has a great gig, he may just not want to risk leaving OSU for a MAC-level HC position when he is pretty much guarenteed a huge spot on OSU's staff until he retires.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:04 PM ^

But my condition for accepting the job wouldn't be a coordinator role after being the HC (however nominal that title was), it would be Smith guaranteeing that he and the replacement HC would do everything in their power to help me land the head job at a MAC/C-USA school.

For apparently having HC ambition, he's currently looking like he's willing to get demoted and just accept that passively. To me, that's not a desirable quality in a head coach anywhere.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

That makes a lot more sense looking at the situation. There's nothing wrong with that, either, if that's what he prefers. I've just been hearing for the past six months that he's supposed to be the Ohio HC eventually, and assumed that's his ambition. If he wants to be a DC, this is a great oppertunity for him.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:01 PM ^

I feel like it's such a unique situation that it almost makes sense. I'm sure Fickell had absolutely zero expectations of being the head coach for 2012 and had plenty of time to come to grips with that. He played at OSU and I'm sure he has no desire to be anywhere else, so my guess is that he was willing to make the sacrifice to try to bridge the gap from Tressel to Meyer as smoothly as possible. Maybe he viewed this past year as kind of a test drive for head coaching. If you think about it, OSU had nothing to lose by making him head coach, and he had nothing to lose either: they get someone to man the ship until the fires die down, he gets to see what it's like to run a major D-1 program.


December 13th, 2011 at 5:34 PM ^

imo, i think the entire tressel staff should be let go in order to fully clean out the house.  does anyone in their right mind think that tressel is the only one who knew of all these transgressions?

but then again, the ncaa will probably only give osu a wrist slap, and smith and gee will most likely keep their jobs too, so i guess i'm not too surprised.


December 13th, 2011 at 6:46 PM ^

he loves tsio and wants another shot at the top job.

He's willing to stick around and learn from a top coach and was probably told if he did, that he'd get another shot.

It's pretty sensible to me.

Oh.....I also don't think he was in terribly high demand, but could make a great case for weathering a terrible storm.


December 13th, 2011 at 4:58 PM ^

Good for Fickell. I'm kind of surpised though that Urban didn't go outside the program to nab a whiz bang coordinator. I wonder what's gonna happen to Heacock? He's been a pretty big part of Ohio's defensive success for the past decade.


December 13th, 2011 at 4:59 PM ^

And will likely end up somewhere else as a head coach as early as after next season ... Would not be surprised to see him as a head coach in the MAC as soon as Fall of 2013


December 13th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

...keeping Fickell on in some capacity was almost humane of them. He signed a one-year deal to bridge the gap, as it were, knowing probably that he was the "permanent interim head" from the start. Still, I don't quite understand why he would want to stay knowing that and with that "phase" being over now. 


December 13th, 2011 at 5:09 PM ^

No word in the article. I guess he's out the door then.

Also, for the record, Meyer's hiring of Cyclone OC Tom Herman is a repudiation of "Big 10 Manball" if I ever saw one.  Meyer clearly intends for OSU to be spread and shred all the way. 

Herman's most successful project was Rice QB Chase Clement, but Steele Jantz and Jarrett Barnett did well this year for him at Iowa State too.



December 13th, 2011 at 5:17 PM ^

But Fickell is apparently a really good recruiter.  OSU's defense also played well for most of the year despite being pretty young...Fickell has been the co-coordinator for OSU's defense for a couple of years, too, so you can't just go on this year.