Trip will feature overload of game action plus Cincinnati sights, sounds and tastes. And bling!
Ohio State had its second practice of the spring Thursday; now the team is off until the 19th
Team practices in shorts and helmets in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center
Earliest start, perhaps, in school history comes after a 103-day break in practices
Coach Meyer meets with the media during the weekly football press conference
Ohio State vs. No. 17 Michigan - AP Photos - 11/25/11
AP photos from today's game.
Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith with 20 seconds left to give Ohio State the victory.
Ohio State vs. No. 16 Illinois - AP/Dispatch Photos - 10/15/11
Luke Fickell is Ohio true and true. Born, raised and educated in Columbus, and a proud graduate of The Ohio State University, Fickell is now in his 13th consecutive season coaching at his alma mater, serving in the position of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Fickell 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.
Ohio State has had some outstanding defenses during Fickell's time with the team. In 2005 the unit was 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. Last season, Ohio State was 10th against the rush after ranking 14th against the run in 2012.
During Ohio State's undefeated, 12-0 season, the defense capped a season-long path of improvement by ranking second-nationally in total defense during the month of November, allowing just 269.7 yards per game.
Fickell, who was named the American Football Coaches Association assistant coach of the year in 2010 and who has also been named a top recruiter in 2012 by both Rivals and ESPN, is focused on getting the team's defense back to its Silver Bullets status.
"We have to be more physical," Fickell said. "We have to get it back to being more aggressive. That just means guys understand exactly what they're doing so they feel confident in what they do. ... We have to go back and take a hard look and really evaluate what we did not do well and find a way we can be better and put guys in better positions."
His defense loses two All-Americans early to the NFL Draft - 2013 AA linebacker Ryan Shazier and 2012 AA cornerback Bradley Roby - but it returns seven starters and, with two new assistants on the defensive side of the ball, energy will be high in the upcoming months.
Fickell was the team's head coach in 2011, a position he accepted on May 30, 2011 without demands, without questions and without any prior head coaching experience. He was asked to step forward and take over a program in need of a steadying influence, and he was just that through a 6-6 regular season and a 24-17 loss to Florida in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.
Fickell was much more than a just a steadying influence. 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 going into November.
Prior to Fickell's appointment to head coach, he had been promoted to assistant head coach in March 2011. He also coached the Buckeye linebackers and has served as co-defensive coordinator.
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 combined record of 41-8-1 overall and 26-5-1 in Big Ten play 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 four children: Landon, Luca ,and twins Aydon and Ashton.
Luke Fickell Coaching Assignments
Luke Fickell Quick Facts