Luke Fickell & Kerry Coombs Are the Best UC Hires Since Huggins
By: Alex Marcheschi
In my humble opinion, the Cincinnati sports media community is to blame for the complacency of our fans. Somehow, someway Mike Brown gets the local media to defend his teams every year when it’s very clear that the team is doomed under his ownership. The Reds can suck ass and no one really makes a peep. People act like XU basketball is some sort of elite program when they’ve never made a Final Four. Bearcats’ basketball hasn’t sniffed the Elite 8 since 1996.
Bearcats football was a joke under Tubs, and somehow that was the one thing that fired everyone up. It was awesome. You need hate when it comes to sports fandom, ya just need it. Hate is essential to a successful fan-base, you can’t let the people who run things get complacent, but you also have to let them know when they did a great job.
This is why I’m so confused that everyone isn’t beaming from ear to ear after the hires of former Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell as head coach and former OSU corner-back/special teams coach Kerry Coombs as associate head coach.
Fickell has the Buckeyes defense tuned up as the fourth best in the land right now and Coombs molded OSU’s secondary into the arguable best in the country. The AAC doesn’t play defense, and I absolutely love the strategy to come in and take the conference by storm with a stingy D, you know Mick is proud.
Also, Coombs was Urban’s right hand recruiting man and they’ve turned OSU into the UK basketball of football right now. Their products are all over the NFL, blue chip guys all over the place. Check out this tweet:
Cincinnati is a high school football hot bed and the Bearcats have always sucked at landing the big hometown guys. It could all change now. The worst case scenario here is that Fickell does an amazing job and leaves in two or three years for another program and that wouldn’t even be bad because Coombs would be waiting in the wings. I honestly believe that there is no way this turns out bad. It’s unfair to call it a safe hire, because it’s not only safe, it’s smart. This is the type of hire that an actual legitimate athletic department makes. It’s so refreshing to see.
We just got two proven winners who have learned under the arguable best coach in college football right now. However, our boy Mo Egger is at it again, spewing out bad takes about Cincinnati sports as is tradition. Mo is apparently “fine” with the Fickell and Coombs hire because he titled his blog “I’m Fine With Fickell.” Classic alliteration, a real veteran move. Here’s his most poignant point:
That is the softest, most bland take about this hire one could have. The english muffin with butter of takes. Of course he faces an uphill battle, that should be assumed. That’s what happens when you take over a shitty football team. Slowly building a winner won’t be easy either? No shit, that’s why these guys get paid the way they do.
I guess he’s right about it not being a “splashy hire,” but then again how is getting one of the top 5 defensive coordinators in the game and one of the best recruiters not splashy? Yeah Charlie Strong would’ve been cool, but he did just stink it up at Texas. It would’ve been a big name, but it would have been a liiiittle too Tubs-y. Also, anyone who actually believes UC had a shot at Fleck is delusional. He’s a loyal guy and he wasn’t going to make his big move from the MAC to the AAC. Also, saying that he would have rather just had Coombs as HC is inexplicable. It makes way more sense to let Fickell run the show initially (he was the HC of OSU after tattoo gate) and let Coombs pipe up the recruiting as he waits in the wings. Beautiful.
This is classic Cincy sports media, the one time they should actually be pumped about something, they’re not. Unreal. Hopefully Mo and the like eat their words here. Something tells me this has to do with the OSU hate that seems to be hovering over the city.
Don’t look now, but Ohio has been doing some heavy lifting on the national sports scene. The Cavs are awesome, the Indians almost won the World Series, the Bucks are awesome, OU football has been making bowls so often it’s become expected and Cincy’s two college b ball teams have a shot to make real runs this year. What a time to be alive, hopefully this is the beginning of an Ohio sports empire.
UPDATE: WLWT falsely reported that Coombs is coming, according to Coombs himself
*note that Coombs never actually says he’s staying at Ohio State long term