You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 5:05 p.m.

Luke Fickell on Michigan: 'Our guys will know about Nov. 26, I promise you that'

By Rich Rezler

It didn’t pack the same panache as the comments his predecessor made on his first day on the job, but interim Ohio State football coach Luke Fickell did address his team’s rivalry with Michigan when he met with the media for the first time on Monday.

During the press conference, which was streamed live on, Fickell was asked how he’ll approach the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry. Will he treat it like any other Big Ten Conference game, or will it have special meaning?

His reply was succinct: “Our guys will know about November 26th, I promise you that.”

Ohio State travels to Michigan Stadium on Nov. 26.

Fickell, previously the Buckeyes’ co-defensive coordinator, was named interim coach on May 30, the day of former coach Jim Tressel’s forced resignation.

It was Tressel who famously promised Ohio State fans in 2000 that he’d turn around a rivalry that had been decidedly in Michigan’s favor. He did just that, going 9-1 against the Wolverines.

Fickell’s Ohio State roots are deep. The 37-year-old was raised in Columbus and was introduced to The Game at an early age.

"I can remember back when I was 10 years old, I had a little league football coach, John Hicks, a former Outland Trophy winner here at Ohio State, and he took me to my first ever Ohio State-Michigan game," Fickell said.

Fickell started a school-record 50 straight games at nose guard for Ohio State coach John Cooper between 1993 and 1996 (going 1-3 against Michigan) and was hired to join Tressel’s staff in 2002.

Before Tressel’s resignation, Fickell had already been chosen to coach the Buckeyes while Tressel served a five-game suspension for not notifying the NCAA or Ohio State officials of players' improper benefits.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has said the Buckeyes plan to conduct a national search for a coach at the end of the 2011-12 season. Fickell will be a candidate.

Some recruiting analysts believed that Michigan gaining a verbal commitment from Mentor (Ohio) High School defensive end Tom Strobel on Friday signaled the beginning of a recruiting fallout at Ohio State.

Fickell said Monday he hasn't seen a negative impact and that his staff will work hard to make sure it doesn't happen.

"We aren’t worried about it. We’ve always sold Ohio State, and that’s what we’re trying to sell these kids day in and day out," he said. "We truly believe that Ohio State will continue to attract the best student-athletes from around the country.

"It’s about something bigger than this situation. It’s about something bigger than a single coach."

Strobel was the first of seven Ohio prep players to commit to Michigan that also had a scholarship offer from Ohio State. He told that Ohio State’s off-the-field problems did not play a part in his decision.


Associated Press: Fickell: I didn't know about violations at OSU New Ohio State coach Luke Fickell looks ahead, moves forward without QB Terrelle Pryor Dream job, if not situation, for Luke Fickell


Terry Star21

Fri, Jul 8, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

Agree...the bucks will walk away at the end of the day Nov. 26, knowing they got beat by an honest, better football team.


Thu, Jun 23, 2011 : 4:47 a.m.

Coach Hoke does not have to say anything about HIS TEAM if he choses not to He cares more about what goes ON and OFF the field PERIOD


Sat, Jun 18, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

IttyBitty, Ya I agree it seems like Mich. fans are obsessed about Jim and Luke, I know My emotions are aroused over this tragedy which has yet to play out. Try to understand how I feel. First, I think LLoyd Carr played you guys even Steven in an honorable fashion another words I believe LLoyd did his best to follow the rules. Now, back track 10 years ago, enter Jim Tressel. You guys, bucs whipped Mich. butt in every way imaginable for 10 years, well 9 out of 10. Now we, Mich. fans find out you. ohio have been hitting below the belt. Personally, you make me feel like a fighter in competition with the same person for 10 years and I lost all but one bout. Now I find out you have been drugging me and I had no chance in those 10 fights albet one. If everyone including my kids and wife think I'm a great and loving father what happens when they find out I've been robbing folks to pay for my families needs. Of course my family will still love me but, from behind bars a place I can no longer help my family hence, Jim Tressel.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

Why do Luke Fickell's feelings mean so much to the people of Michigan? He's a filler being used that will soon be replaced by some new ingredient. After the 2011 season - Will we even hear about him again? The only question I have is "Did Jim Tressel kiss Luke on the cheek in the same way that Judas kissed Lord Jesus?" It seems plausible that OSU will get crucified this season.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

From the AP on RichieRod: Lest we forget. Rodriguez spent three seasons at Michigan before he was dismissed in January. The ouster came after blowout losses to Ohio State and Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. His record was 16-22, and the school was hit with NCAA sanctions for the first time because of rules violations while he was coach.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

I went to the associated press link above and read Fickell's comments about his total unawareness of the problems at OSU. I don't really know what else he could say without incriminating himself, but how could he not know? If he truly didn't know, he is completely out of touch. I hope they keep the guy (after all, he was coached by John Cooper), but if OSU wants to really clean up their program they need a complete overhaul of their coaching staff.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5 p.m.

Bob, what was he supposed to know? That Tressell new players traded gold pants for a tettoo? What do you know? I will help you. This is sheeet, that is shinola.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 10:35 a.m.

It will be good to see this settled on the field, between players. Michigan fans, keep reminiscing about the good old days when the Wolverines had a competitive team. After changing the whole coaching staff, it will be a long season.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:35 a.m.

Oh BTW, Strobel is really smart, he wants a real degree. That's why he had Northwestern and Stanford as schools he was seriously considering, despite growing up and raised to hate U-M. I guess we won him over, huh?


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:33 a.m.

-Hey Fickell, glad you can read a calender, Make sure none of the players you use in "The Game" are ineligible, okay pal? I can repeat myself if you want Luke Boy, NO INELIGIBLE PLAYERS, GOT IT? -The reason TSIO didn't offer most of the kids we got from Ohio is because they don't have a ton of Schollies to give out this coming year. I'm pretty sure these Ohio kids are going to put a hurt on TSIO and impact the rivalry, call it a hunch. -He was asked during his press conference if he knew anything that was going on for 10 YEARS. His answer was a bunch of mumbled bull. How could he not know, I think the whole current staff knew and are all tainted, just like their past decade record against us. We will beat them this year, this lucky, cheating streak they had is over, Hoke is money in the bank folks. I play on a site called Smartest Michigan Fan. I'm "San Diego Mick "on their, the site started in mid December I think, I started playing in mid January or so, I finished in the top 3 or 4 that month, I won Feb, Mar, and May. I lost April cause I choked in the last week even though I led the whole month practically, the guy who beat me is known as Btowar, he's the other great player on that site, there are quite a few other really good players and it's fun, you guys should check it out. After a month, I was doing so well, a couple of the guys started accusing me of cheating, that got refuted. The reason I mention the site is because I'm trying to show I know my U-M Football, so listen to me when I say we are headed for a golden era of M Football, TiM, Go Blue!!!

Darth Pablo

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 3:13 a.m.

Ughhh....Who cares. Michigan State will have the Big 10 wrapped up when these two 6-6 on NCAA probation teams meet up at the end of november.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

Who is Luke Fickell...never heard of him.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

Good one D21 almost as good as Brady Hoax


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Heard of Luke Fickle? That is his real surname.


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 12:18 a.m.

"We've always sold Ohio State, and that's what we're trying to sell these kids day in and day out." The saying "snake oil salesman" seems to apply these days to OSU. Go Blue !

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

Was that the head coach's quote, or a Columbus sports memorabilia place?

Terry Star21

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 2:27 a.m.

You got it right !


Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 11:16 p.m.

To be honest, I haven't heard anything from Hoke that indicates that he has fire and brimstones in his gut that would motivate his players when it comes time to play OSU. With the athletes OSU already have, if Fickell cultivates an "us against the world" mentality, they will run through the B10 like water.

Blue Marker

Wed, Jun 15, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

At least he's honest. And his program isn't racked with NCAA violations, ready to accept sanctions, a national disgrace on the front page of every media outlet in the USA. OSU's most legendary coaches are both fired in disgrace! Nice legacy indeed! So yeah, go ahead and call the guy out on his weight, it's all you got!


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

The only thing Hoke has in his gut is donuts and wings great inspiration on the sidelines for Mich fans and players.

Terry Star21

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 2:26 a.m.

"To be honest, I haven't heard anything from Hoke that indicates that he has fire and brimstones in his gut..." Well sir, I'm sure you have been out of town for 5 months then...and last time I checked 'water' runs down hill - to the lowest spot !

Blue Marker

Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

"they will run through the B10 like water". With a freshmen QB and first year coach? I don't think so. Also, Hoke won't even say "Ohio State" and you don't think he has a healthy disdain for OSU? I'm not sure you're keeping it very real.

1st Down

Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

"Strobel was the first of seven Ohio prep players to commit to Michigan that also had a scholarship offer from Ohio State" Are you certain that is a correct statement?


Tue, Jun 14, 2011 : 12:27 a.m.

Good call 1st Down. According to ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ), there are 7 commits from Ohio players. Only 1 of them, Tom Strobel, had a scholarship offer from OSU (according to each player profile on the rivals site).

1st Down

Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 11:05 p.m.

So....Does this guy cheat and cover-up too? He won't last there. Michigan 29 - osu 16


Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 10:38 p.m.

I look at Luke Fickell's first front and center speech as just a first time head coach with the jitters and who wouldn't be having to take over a mess like Luke did, talk about timing. That being said, I hear Luke Fickell shows potential, must have shown potential for Jim Tressel to give Luke those 5 games. I hear this guy is high intensity and fire and brim. with the players, I don't expect ohio to drop off much and I wouldn't want it any other way when they play us. To be honest, Luke Fickell came across to me like a guy the ohio players will want to play for and respect. Guys like Jim Tressel and Brady Hoke have been around the block and they have their polished speeches down to an art form, Luke Fickell will be able to rhetoric with the best of them by next year if, he has a good year and keeps his job. He strikes me as exactly what ohio needs at this point.


Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Did he say something about All In? The players know about the game. They win the game, get gold pants, get tats. What former SNL cast member does he sound like?

David Vande Bunte

Mon, Jun 13, 2011 : 9:52 p.m.

Seriously? The best he can come up with is that his guys will know the date they play Michigan? AND? Ummm...I would hope so, since it would be expected that most of your players should be able to read a printed football schedule. Sorry, but simply saying that his guys will know the date isn't very motivational. Where is the taunt about how many days since we last beat Ohio State? How about guaranteeing a victory? How about promising that he will make the Buckeyes proud? The best he can muster is that his players are at least semi-intelligent enough to remember a date on the calendar? Wow. If that is the best the Buckeyes have, its going to be a very long year for them, and a very enjoyable year for me.