Ohio State’s defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is expected to be a top candidate for the Florida Atlantic head coaching job, according to FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman. USA TODAY Sports’ Dan Wolken also mentioned the possibility. The Owls fired head coach Charlie Partridge Sunday morning.
Fickell, a co-defensive coordinator with Greg Schiano for Urban Meyer’s squad, has been a big part of an Ohio State defense that has boasted plentiful NFL talent the past few seasons. It’s also a defense that kept the Bucks in The Game against Michigan.
So what’s the connection between Fickell and a place like FAU? It’s the school’s Vice President and Director of Athletics Patrick Chun. Chun spent 15 years in Columbus, where he graduated from Ohio State and then went on to work in OSU’s athletic department. He was promoted throughout his time to Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Relations. Fickell was also considered back when the school ultimately went with Partridge.
Chun left Ohio State for FAU in 2012. Since his arrival, the Owls have gone 3-9 in every season except 2013, when they went 6-6.
Fickell notably took over the Ohio State program as head coach for the 2011 season after Jim Tressel’s departure. It was arguably the most difficult time in the history of the Ohio State football program. Prior to this, he had been promoted to assistant head coach in March of that same year.
Former Ohio State assistant Stan Drayton was also reported to have been interviewed the last time FAU had a vacancy.