Florida Atlantic AD Patrick Chun flew to Ohio Tuesday to interview Luke Fickell for the Owls' vacant head coaching job, according to a report from Dieter Kurtenbach of the Sun Sentinel. Fickell is currently the defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Fickell appears to be Chun's first choice for the job, and given his history with Ohio State, that's not surprising. As our own Patrick Vint noted not long after Carl Pelini tendered his resignation, there was a good chance that Fickell would emerge as a target:
Florida Atlantic athletic director Patrick Chun came to Miami after more than a decade at Ohio State, and could well call on another Buckeye to lead his program going forward.
Of the assistants on the current staff, Fickell makes the most sense. He has one year of head coaching experience, having acted as interim coach after Jim Tressel was fired in 2011. He also has eight seasons as co-defensive coordinator under both Tressel and Urban Meyer. He has been handling Meyer's recruiting efforts in Florida this year, and while he has not struck gold in South Florida, Fickell is considered an excellent recruiter. His long career at Ohio State has made him a household name for football fans.
Chun's secretary confirmed that he wasn't at the FAU athletics facilities Tuesday, according to Kurtenbach.
Chun and the Owls have been looking for new head coaching candidates since Pelini's abrupt resignation last week. Defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis also resigned, while the rest of the staff was retained. Pelini allegedly used both marijuana and cocaine while the head coach, which led to his departure.
As Ohio State continues to sustain success, it would be expected that many of their assistant coaches would get looks at head coaching opportunities at other schools. While some fans may have expressed frustration at Fickell for Ohio State's less-than-dominant-at-times defense over the past two seasons, his service to the Buckeye football program is extensive, and his bonafides as a recruiter have been firmly established.
Offensive coordinator Brian Wright is serving as the interim head coach.
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