Luke Fickell Is Our New Coach... So What Now?

Luke Fickell Is Our New Coach... So What Now?

The former OSU Defensive Coordinator comes to Cincinnati with something to prove

Last week Tommy Tuberville "resigned" from the head coaching position at the University of Cincinnati. I wrote an article about how Urban Meyer should come coach at UC (, and while we didn't get Urban Meyer, perhaps we got the next best thing; Luke Fickell. Luke Fickell is the defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and as soon as their season ends he'll be coming to Cincinnati to start his coaching career here in the 513. So we know who's replacing Tuberville, what now? Well lets take a look at Fickell's past and a little look into the future and what we can expect in the next season and beyond.

Essentially Fickell's entire career has been in Columbus. He played high school football there (at DeSales High School), and went to OSU for football where he played nose guard on the defensive line. After a nice career with the Buckeyes, he would go on to sign with the New Orleans Saints of the NFL, but he tore an ACL and never really saw the field. He was soon released and his playing career had come to a quick close.

From there he would start his coaching career with the Buckeyes as an assistant, then being hired by University of Akron for a short two year stint, and then was back with the Buckeyes up til this point. He made his way from special-teams coordinator all the way to assistant coach, where he earned Assistant Coach of the Year in 2010. When OSU coach Jim Tressel was suspended for five game in 2011 following a team scandal, he would decide to resign, making Fickell the interim head coach of the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes had a mediocre season by their standards, going 6-6 and losing to the Florida Gators, coached by the one and only Urban Meyer, in the 2012 Gator Bowl. Once Meyer left Florida and came to Columbus as the next head coach, Fickell was deemed defensive coordinator and worked alongside Meyer ever since.

In the five years Fickell has been defensive coordinator under Meyer's tenure the Buckeyes have gone 61-5 along with winning a National Championship, and going onto to try and win another one this season in the College Football Playoffs. Throughout these past five seasons the Buckeye's defense has been spectacular producing many NFL draftee's such as Joey Bosa, Eli Apple, and many many more.

So if anything, Fickell has the experience and the resume. Although he didn't do too well with his one season of head coaching, it wasn't planned and he wasn't prepared for such a job at the time. He's a true Ohio-guy, and understands the football culture here. He understands the high school football power here in Ohio and especially in Cincinnati, and hopefully he'll be able to tap into that when it comes to recruiting new exciting players. He also has a defensive mind set, and defense wins championships. This past season the Bearcats weren't really good at anything, just pretty mediocre at everything. If we can at least get a solid, formidable defense going, we can at least depend on one phase of the game going well.

Who knows how well Fickell's first season will be. We can't expect ten wins the first season, but a winning record and a step in the right direction is what Cincinnati desperately needs. I don't think were in full on rebuild-the-program mode, but we should afford Fickell the time to settle in, get the staff he wants, and put together his own football program for the first time. UC's entire schedule isn't filled out yet, but they do have a game against Michigan at Ann Arbor early in the season. While asking for a team good enough to beat the Wolverines two weeks into a coaches first season is a lot to ask, it would certainly be a great time to prove that the Bearcats can hang with the best and perhaps even upset a giant, giving Fickell a great start to his first season.

It's all very far off and the man still has a National Championship to win with his Buckeyes, of which we should all cheer on come January. But Cincinnati students and fans alike should look forward to what Fickell can bring to the Nati. I for one am optimistic and hopeful that he'll be the jumpstart that this program has badly needed. And hopefully he's here for good. (I'm looking at you Brian Kelly).

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Sports And Religion

Why are so many athletes religious?


I recently just made it on to the USC Track and Field team, and it is easily the biggest accomplishment I have ever made in my entire life. I worked so hard to physically and mentally prepare to try out for the team, let alone actually make it. I thank God for allowing me to have the chance to be a part of this team, as well as giving me that physical and mental strength required to do so, and I express this whenever someone congratulates me for making the team or even asks if I made it or not. However, I noticed that when I did this, some of the responses were a bit dismissive when I brought religion into the picture. When I said I thank God for it, I would be met with responses like "Yea well even aside from God..." or another response that drew the conversation away from my faith, away from the concept of a god.

In fact, I've noticed that many athletes are religious in some form-- more so collectively than other student bodies aside from religious groups themselves. I thought about why this may be, aside from the obvious answer such as growing up religious at home, because that does not answer the question; many people grew up in a religious household and are not religious themselves. So, I began to think personally. Why do I thank God for my athletic performance? There's a certain level of uncertainty within every sport. All athletes train their hardest to minimize this level of uncertainty, in order to maximize their chances of success. However, you can only train so hard. To me, no matter how hard you train, there's always some type of level of uncertainty to every level of performance: the chances of you getting injured, the chances of you winning your game or race, the chances of the opponent's performance, etc. This is where I think God intervenes, and perhaps other athletes would agree. There have been countless times where I ran well and had absolutely no idea how I did it. Yes, I worked hard to improve my times, but when you are in the moment of a race, or a game, that fades into the background, especially when everyone else has been working just as hard. It's just you, your race (or game), and God. That's it.

I could have not made the team. As a walk-on, there is more pressure for you to perform since the coaches did not seek you out; you sought them out. You are proving your abilities. Thus, I was nervous about my chances of actually making the team, especially considering the fact that the USC track team is arguably the best collegiate track team in the United States. I performed well during my try out and finished all the workouts, however I wasn't as fast as the other girls. In addition, I was 3 minutes late to my last day of tryouts and got chewed out by the coach for it. I was convinced that I blew my chances. And yet, somehow, I made it. I worked so hard for it, yes, but I thank God for keeping my body healthy so I could train to the best of my ability. I thank Him for allowing the coaches to have the time to try me out. I thank Him for allowing them to see my potential. I thank Him for giving me the best high school track coach possible who prepared me mentally and physically, as well as supported me throughout all the highs and all the lows. I thank Him for giving me this chance to continue my track career at the most prestigious collegiate team. My gratitude for all this, is simply infinite.

There is good reason why many athletes are religious; being an athlete requires you to be more than yourself. It requires you to dig deeper, into places that you didn't even think were possible, and really aren't without the belief of a higher power. The belief in a higher power, in whatever form or name that takes, means the belief in infinite possibility. And for an athlete to have that, means nothing can stop them from chasing their dreams.

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