Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith announced today that Luke Fickell has been named Assistant Head Coach for the Buckeyes this fall. Fickell will be the acting head coach on gameday while Tressel serves his self-imposed five game suspension.
Fickell is in his 10th year with Ohio State and is the current linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator alongside Jim Heacock.
This doesn’t give Tressel a five week vacation. Tressel has every intention of coaching his team through the entirety of the season, just as he has during his 11 year tenure with the Buckeyes. The only difference between his role with the team now as opposed to years past is a short break during the weekend.
"What I owed to Ohio State was 24-7," Tressel said in a statement during spring practice. "I know this, as the season begins next year it may be 24-6 and the seventh day is the one you love. I know that, but we'll work hard to make sure our guys are ready to go."
On the other side -- Fickell is very excited about the opportunity, “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.” He later added, "This is Coach Tressel's team. We are all on the same page. I know each and everyone one of us, as a staff member, as a player, they know that. I can assure you that each and every one of us is truly invested in everything we're doing here."
Fickell will be the acting head coach during the home opener against Akron, followed by games against Toledo (at home), Miami, Fla. (on the road), Colorado (at home) and the Big Ten opener against Michigan State (at home). Tressel will return to the sidelines and reclaim the head coaching duties on the road against Nebraska.
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