Ohio State cleared up the question over who would be in charge during football coach Jim Tressel's five-game suspension to start the season Wednesday by promoting Luke Fickell to assistant head coach.
Fickell, the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, is in his 10th year on the staff. Last season he was selected assistant coach of the year for FBS schools by the American Football Coaches Association. Football Scoop named him linebacker coach of the year.
His contract is being renegotiated, according to a university press release.
Darrell Hazell, who was hired in December as coach at Kent State, had held the title of OSU's assistant head coach since 2005.
"Luke Fickell is a Buckeye to the core. He has earned this promotion to assistant head coach through his hard work, dedication and performance,” director of athletics Gene Smith said. “ We have great trust and belief in Luke’s ability to work with our entire coaching staff to lead our young men through the first five games this fall. I have confidence our entire football family will work together to maintain our standard of excellence.”
“I am honored to be able to grow at a place and in a program that I know, love and respect. It is extremely humbling,” Fickell said.
A Columbus native, Fickell won a state wrestling title at DeSales High School and was a four-year starter at nose guard for the Buckeyes. He spent a year on injured reserve with the New Orleans Saints before getting into coaching.
He and his wife, Amy (also an Ohio State graduate), have four children: Landon, Luca, and twins Aydon and Ashton.