Report: Fickell Interviewed for Pitt Job

By Chris Lauderback on December 16, 2011 at 12:31p

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Bucks's picture

Seems quite odd, if true. You don't advertise that Fickell is staying unless you're sure. Now, I can see him interviewing just to test the waters/formality but would not make me too enthused if otherwise.

yrro's picture

I can imagine Fickell's own opinion on this changing fairly quickly when your alternative offer goes from Akron to Pitt. Desire to stay home and loyalty to the program weighs heavily, but a head coaching job at a fairly big time program isn't something you just ignore without hearing what they have to say.

It'd suck if we lost him, though.

mastermiind's picture

I have no problem with this. Pitt is probably one of the top 25 programs in the country prestige-wise. It would be detrimental to Fickell's career for him not to at least interview (and probably would be silly for him not to take the job if offered.) Fickell is a hell of a defensive mind and a hell of a recruiter. He'll make a fine head coach. What killed him most this year as our head guy was that Jim Bollman was finally exposed without Tress doing his job for him the last ten years. I hope Luke stays and helps us build our imminent dynasty. But if he goes, I wish him the best. 


Roger's picture

Yep, Fick has to take the job if it's offered. Simple as that.

Buck_Michigan's picture

Keep in mind also that the Pitt job became available a couple days ago so when it was announced Fickell would stay it was true. I'd hate to see Luke go but I'm sure he always planned on becoming a HC and if the opportunity comes you have to explore it. Pitt is a mess...of course they may have the opportunity to steal PSU recruits. We'll have to see what happens.

2012 Beat Michigan Tail gate:  UFM:  "Let’s beat the sh*t out of Michigan, have a good night."

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

Would hate to lose him, but would be happy for him if he got the job.

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

BuckeyeSki's picture


Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

btalbert25's picture

This would be a great opportunity for him.  He'll be coaching a team in a major conference who will be set up to have some success.  Pitt's recruiting may pick up a bit too with Penn State being a mess.  It's definitely not the step back that a MAC school would be for him.  Also, he could put his own staff together and we'd see what kind of Head Coach he can by so that in 5, 7, 10 years when Urban is gone he could be the pefect candidate for the job. 

Also, if he takes off does that mean Urban gets to coach the bowl game?

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

major conference? will the still be in the big east, or ACC, or C-USA? Sun Belt?

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

btalbert25's picture

Well I thought they were a done deal to the ACC, which is a BCS conference.  Is that in jeopardy now?

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

at this point, who's to say?

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

btalbert25's picture

Well as of right now, what it looks like it's going to be is a great opportunity to lead a team that's going to be a BCS school.  I'd hate to lose him, but would like to see him get that experience of being a head coach with his own staff, leading a team that For the time being is in a BCS conference, so that in 5-10 years from now he can come back and we can say, ok this is the guy without a doubt. 

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Perfect job for Fickell.  Pitt is a fairly prestigious program, but at the same time, he won't have nearly the pressure on him that he would have here.  If he's offered the job, he should take it.  He'll have a great opportunity to really perfect his craft as a head coach.  And who knows - maybe some day, he can come back, post-Urban Era. 

Class of 2010.

dancorona5's picture

Iowa State announced a 10-year, $20 million contract with Paul Rhoads...guess he's not taking the Pitt job haha

tampa buckeye's picture

we will miss his leadership haha 

OurHonorDefend09's picture

I see this as a huge loss if he takes off. He was probably OSU's best recruiter pre-Urban, and also probably the most experienced coach on the staff besides Urban. I'm going to be selfish and wallow in bitter sadness if he does leave. I want my school to be the beneficiary of all things great, not Pittsburgh, whom I despise more as a city than any other on the planet.


Congrats to him if he gets the job, I guess.

Don't give up... Don't ever give up.

The Braden's picture

The immediate benefit for this is the vacated slot for Stoops to swoop in and fill.  The long term benefit is for Fickell to get some serious experience at the helm of a major college program and move along the learning curve without necessarily irritating Buckeye Nation- save for the improbable OSU-Pitt bowl matchup during his tenure. 

Rol the clock forward ten years and you have a guy who is now ready to come back home and take the reins from Urban, who will most likely be so tired from his successes by that time that he'll be looking to call it a career.

Being successful at Pitt can translate to being successul at TOSU. 

Either way, this works for me.


theDuke's picture

One Question: What will Mark May think of this?


johnblairgobucks's picture

he'll sh!t himself, then in his mind blame all of Pitt's future losses on the fact the head coach is a former Buckeye, in turn, he will credit all of Pitt's future wins on Pitt's Legacy that May himself help create.

Buck_Michigan's picture

ha!  I didn't even think of that!  Now I almost want him to go just for the sake of "spitting" that douchebag!  Oh how I loathe Mark May!

2012 Beat Michigan Tail gate:  UFM:  "Let’s beat the sh*t out of Michigan, have a good night."

theDuke's picture



JLP36's picture

I would only want him to leave for a great job.  Mediocrity at Pitt could be a dead end for him and mediocrity seems best case at Pitt no matter what.  I wish him the best where ever he is, but would love it to be in Columbus coaching a bunch of blood thirsty beasts.


ThirdLegLouie's picture

I don't think he leaves for the Pitt job. Even though he's been offered the position, and reportedly has until the end of the weekend to give them an answer, he's currently at Noah Spence's Championship game in PA, with Vraebel and Meyer, trying to recruit Spence to be a buckeye.

Additionally, his wife loves C-bus and didn't he give statements to the effect of "there's nowhere else I'd rather be" shortly after Meyer was hired? Add it all up and I just don't see him leaving at this time. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Bill Greene says he heard it's a 5 year, 10 million dollar offer - that's going to be tough to turn down.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Not if he wants to have a long-term future in coaching. The Pitt program is headed in the opposite direction of the OSU program and there is such a higher amount of risk with being the HC at Pitt. If Fickell goes there, and doesn't succeed, his odds of moving up in the coaching ranks from Pitt are significantly diminished, whereas if he rides the success train w/ Urban in the short term as the DC, then he'll have set himself up w/a greater resume and greater future prospects.  


Didn't Fickell just say this week in an interview that being a coordinator at OSU is better than being a HC at other schools or something to that effect?

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

NC_Buckeye's picture

Agreed that the Pitt program has been in decline since Jackie Sherrill left in 82. Given the state of their facilities and the fact they're lucky to get Heinz Field three quarters full for games -- Dave Wannstedt's 42–31 record was a major achievement. The stache most likely resigned because he couldn't see Pitt being any better than an 8-4 team any given year. 9-3 is a great year. 10-2 is a BCS bowl and not likely to happen too often.

So what Luke has to figure out is this. (A) How will PA and northeast recruiting change given PSU's situation? (B) Can he assemble a committed, long-term staff that can hit the ground running? (C) How competitive can he get this team so it's ready for its new league, the ACC, by 2014? (D) How quick can he get the program back to Wannstedt levels or better? (E) What is the probability for success or failure and if he doesn't measure up where can his career go from there? (F) And is this a better opportunity than staying on Meyer's staff and learning another style of coaching from another master of the game?

I think another factor that's going to influence his decision is whether Meyer intends to retain Vrabel on the tOSU staff. I'm betting he feels responsible for Vrabel's early retirement.

The other thing I'd do if I was Fickell is give Tressel a call and see if he'd be willing to be an OC to close out his career.

bassplayer7770's picture

It would be difficult to see a true Buckeye go, but I wish him the best if he does.  I have to be honest, it somewhat concerns me that it could have an effect on recruiting.  Also, would he offer Vrabel a job, and would he go?


UPDATE:  According to a Dispatch article I'm reading right now, Fickell told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tonight that he has not had an interview and one has not been scheduled.

Ethan's picture

Regarding the Dispatch article, Urban Meyer said he hadn't interviewed/been offered the OSU gig either. He pretty much has to say that. 

I'd hate to lose him, but I think he'd do well. I'd be interested to see what he can do with his own staff. 

Also, if Fickell goes to Pitt, then you've got to think Vrabel is gone too. 

cplunk's picture

Best of luck to Fick in whatever it is he wants. If he wants to go to Pitt, I hope he dominates whatever silly conference Pitt is in nowdays. Fick was in over his head this year, but he did his best, never bitched, and obviously cared heart and soul for my Buckeyes. I hope Fick gets whatever job he wants for whatever reasons he wants and I'll root for his team where ever he goes.

Wolverine_Killer's picture

Best wishes to him if he goes, but I'd definitely like to see him stay.