Luke Fickell
Luke  Fickell

Defensive Coordinator/LB Coach

Alma Mater:
Ohio State, 1997


Cincinnati: Here Come the Buckeyes

Trip will feature overload of game action plus Cincinnati sights, sounds and tastes. And bling!


Two And Done ... For A While

Ohio State had its second practice of the spring Thursday; now the team is off until the 19th


Buckeyes storm through first practice

Team practices in shorts and helmets in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center


Ohio State Spring Football Set to Kick Off

Earliest start, perhaps, in school history comes after a 103-day break in practices


Urban Meyer Press Conference Transcript

Coach Meyer meets with the media during the weekly football press conference


#3 Ohio State vs. #9 Michigan State

The Buckeyes return home to The 'Shoe for Senior Day against the #9 Michigan State Spartans.


Ohio State vs. Florida - AP Photos

Gator Bowl


Ohio State vs. No. 17 Michigan - AP Photos - 11/25/11

Ohio State vs. No. 17 Michigan - AP Photos - 11/25/11


Ohio State vs. No. 21 Penn State - 11/19/11

AP photos from today's game.


Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 29 - AP Photos

Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State the victory.

Luke Fickell
Defensive Coordinator & Linebackers Coach
The Ohio State University

Ohio State defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Luke Fickell may be only 42, but he is an experienced, 18-year coaching veteran at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. His impressive resume includes being on the staff of two national championship winning teams, seeing 12 of his players selected in the NFL Draft, and coordinating outstanding defenses over the last 12 seasons as a co-coordinator or defensive coordinator.

He is also an excellent recruiter with strong Midwest and Florida relationships, a national presence when needed and a discerning eye for talent. He was named the American Football Coaches Association assistant coach of the year in 2010 and he was named a “top recruiter” in 2012 by both Rivals and ESPN.

While recognized as a respected mentor to his student-athletes while sharing life experiences as an Ohio State Buckeye, a graduate, as a New Orleans Saint and as a husband and father, Fickell is most-noticed as a developer of talent and of really good defenses.

In 2005, he helped guide a defensive unit to fifth in the NCAA in total defense and first in rushing defense. In 2007 the team was first in total defense, first in scoring defense and first in pass defense. In 2009 and 2010, the Buckeyes were fifth and fourth, respectively, in total defense.

During Ohio State’s undefeated, 12-0 season of 2012, Fickell’s defense capped a season-long path of improvement by ranking second-nationally in total defense during the month of November. In 2013, Ohio State was 10th against the rush after ranking 14th against the run in 2012.

During Ohio State’s 2014 national championship season, the defense continued to improve each week. The unit recorded the first shutout in a conference championship game in Power Five history with a 59-0 victory over Wisconsin while limiting Heisman Trophy finalist Melvin Gordon to 2.9 yards per carry and the team to just 258 total yards.

In the College Football Playoff semifinal win over No. 1 Alabama, the defense forced seven Alabama punts, had three interceptions in the last 18 minutes of the game and effectively nullified the talents of Heisman Trophy finalist receiver Amari Cooper.

And finally, in the national championship game vs. Oregon and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota, the defense held the Ducks 100 yards below its offensive average and surrendered just 10 points off four Ohio State turnovers.

Ohio State’s 2015 unit ranked ninth nationally in total defense, second in scoring defense, sixth in pass efficiency defense and was a major reason the team went 12-1 on the season.

His NFL Draft selections include first-round picks A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Ryan Shazier and Darron Lee, NFL standout James Laurinaitis and Joshua Perry, Anthony Schlegel, Larry Grant, Marcus Freeman, Austin Spitler, Ross Homan and Brian Rolle.

Fickell was born, raised and educated in Columbus, and is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University. He has been at Ohio State coaching since the 2002 season, and he was the first assistant coach named to Urban Meyer's Ohio State staff in November of 2011.

In May of 2011 he was asked to take over an Ohio State program staggered by the loss of a beloved head coach, the unexpected departure of a star quarterback and on the cusp of NCAA penalties, and he steadied the situation with an impressive willingness to take on a challenge.

Fickell was much more than a just a steadying influence in 2011, though. He was a leader through one of the most difficult times in Ohio State athletics history. He kept the team focused and, despite 53 games missed by starters, the constant molding of two first-year quarterbacks and inexperience and youth up and down the lineup, he had the Buckeyes in control of their Big Ten championship destiny well into November.

Prior to Fickell's appointment to serve as head coach in 2011, he had been promoted to assistant head coach in March 2011.

Fickell's coaching career began at Ohio State. After spending a year on the injured reserve list with the New Orleans Saints, he was hired in 1999 as a graduate assistant at Ohio State by his college coach, John Cooper.

Fickell's first full-time coaching position came in 2000 under Lee Owens at Akron, spending two years as defensive line coach. Jim Tressel brought him to Ohio State as special teams coordinator in 2002 and he also worked with the defensive front. He was named linebackers coach in 2004 and added co-defensive coordinator duties to his resume in 2005.

Fickell is a graduate of DeSales High School, where he was a three-time, undefeated state wrestling champion, and he is a 1997 graduate of Ohio State. He played for the Buckeyes from 1992-96, redshirting the first year and then starting the next four seasons at nose guard. He started a school-record 50 consecutive games between 1993 and 1996.

Fickell concluded his Ohio State career with 212 total tackles, including 26 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. During his four years in the starting lineup, the Buckeyes posted a record of 41-8-1 with a pair of Big Ten co-championships. With the win over Arizona State in the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes finished the 1996 season with a sparkling 11-1 record and were second in the nation in both major polls in the final rankings.

Luke and his wife, Amy (an Ohio State physical therapy graduate), have six children: Landon, Luca, twins sons Aydon and Ashton, and twin sons Laykon and Lucian.

Quick Facts
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
High School: DeSales
Alma Mater: The Ohio State University, 1997
Degree: Exercise Science
Year in Coaching: 18th (16th season at Ohio State)
Wife: Amy
Children: Son Landon, daughter Luca, twin sons Aydon & Ashton, and twin sons Laykon & Lucian

Luke Fickell Coaching Assignments

2012-pres.Defensive Coordinator/LinebackersOhio State
2011Head CoachOhio State
2005-2011Co-Defensive Coordinator/LinebackersOhio State
2004LinebackersOhio State
2002-2003Special Teams CoordinatorOhio State
2000-2001Defensive Line CoachAkron
1999Graduate AssistantOhio State