Ohio State's Luke Fickell will be University of Cincinnati's next head football coach

Kerry Coombs expected to return to UC, too
Posted at 10:39 AM, Dec 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-10 12:38:55-05

CINCINNATI -- Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell will be the next head football coach at the University of Cincinnati. Former Colerain coach Kerry Coombs is expected to join him on UC's staff as associate head coach.

An announcement is expected later Saturday.

Fickell, 43, reached an agreement with the university late Friday, sources told ESPN. The former Ohio State nose tackle has been on the Buckeyes staff for 15 years (10 as defensive coordinator) and was interim head coach for the 2011 season after Jim Tressel quit under an NCAA investigation. Fickell's Buckeyes went 6-7 under trying circumstances, and he went back to overseeing the defense when Urban Meyer came to the rescue the next year.

Local high school coaches say they're expecting Coombs, OSU's cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator, to come with Fickell. As associate head coach, Coombs may be the Bearcats' defensive coordinator and, of course, a mega-recruiter for the program.

IN DEPTH: UC needs Fickell, Coombs to revive football program

UC's Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet Sunday afternoon to discuss personnel matters.

The hire comes less than a week after Tommy Tuberville stepped down as head coach. The Bearcats went 1-7 in their conference and 4-8 overall this year, missing a bowl game for the first time since 2010.

Tuberville was 29-22 in four seasons with UC and coached the Bearcats to three bowl appearances and a share of the 2014 American Athletic Conference Championship.

WCPO will update this developing story.

---'s Greg Noble contributed to this report.