With Jim Tressel’s resignation, Ohio State’s administration has announced his replacement: Luke Fickell, the Buckeyes’ current co-defensive coordinator and a nine year veteran of the Ohio State coaching staff.
Fickell’s Ohio State pedigree is substantial. He played nose guard for the Buckeyes under John Cooper, and was a four year starter before beginning his coaching career as a graduate assistant in Columbus. Aside from a two year stint at the University of Akron from 2000-2001, he has spent his entire career at Ohio State, coaching special teams and then linebackers as co-defensive coordinator.
Fickell has also never been a head coach at any level, so it is hard to look at the move as anything but a nod to stability while the Buckeyes figure out what the next step in the Tressel succession process is. Fickell was already set to coach the first five games of the season while Tressel served his suspension for misleading the NCAA’s investigators in the Tatgate scandal, so this represents an extension of a pre-existing arrangement rather than a hasty battlefield promotion.
Make no mistake, though: barring a miraculous run through 2011, Fickell is both 100 percent Buckeye and, for the moment, 100 percent interim coaching material.