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Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
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Cat-Man Offline
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Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/...431835002/

Longtime bond between Luke Fickell, Marcus Freeman translates to success for UC football
Keith Jenkins
Cincinnati Enquirer

The Cincinnati Bearcats football program's 2020 recruiting class is the best in team history. That's saying a lot for a program that's had 132 seasons.

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell credits a lot of that success on the recruiting trail to defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman.

"He's been huge, one of the best recruiters in the country," Fickell said. "I'd say there's nobody that's done a better job than what he's done in four years."

Fickell, 46, and Freeman, 34, have a bond. It's special. It's different. It's "real," Freeman said.

It's even turbulent at times, they both admitted. It's one that has helped lead the Bearcats to back-to-back 11-win seasons, something that has only happened one other time in the program's history (2008-09). It's also one that has taken nearly two decades to build.

The Beginning
It started in 2002, when Freeman was a standout linebacker at Wayne High School in Huber Heights and Fickell was the special teams coordinator at Ohio State. Though then-Buckeyes defensive line coach Jim Heacock was responsible for recruiting Freeman's area, it was Fickell who relentlessly called Freeman to convince him to play for Ohio State.

"He called me all the time," said Freeman, while laughing.

In January 2004, Freeman joined the Buckeyes as a freshman after graduating from high school early. That same month, Fickell became Ohio State's linebackers coach.

"We kind of grew together," Freeman said. "I learned a lot from him. It wasn't always easy. Man, it wasn't. I'm sure there were days when he went home and told his wife, 'Man, I can't stand coaching that Marcus Freeman guy.'"

The two exchanged words often. Fickell recalled one time when he threw Freeman off the field before a game.

"He got lippy," Fickell said. "He was an 18-year-old."

Freeman said Fickell was hard on him. Not only when he was scrapping for reps as an underclassman behind future first-round NFL draft picks A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter, but also when he was the big-name starter alongside James Laurinaitis.

"But as you mature, you realize that you really appreciate the tough coaching," Freeman said. "I've learned so many lessons from Coach Fickell. The things that he's taught me have been more about the things he hasn't said. Just watching him. Watching him being a husband. Watching him being a father. Watching him being a football coach and a leader, and I'm like, 'That's the way to do it.'"

Freeman to the NFL
After Freeman entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2009, he again turned to Fickell when times got tough.

The Bears waived Freeman in September 2009, just five months after joining the team. He then joined the Buffalo Bills' practice squad, only to be cut a couple weeks later. Freeman then signed with the Houston Texans.

"I'll never forget calling Coach Fickell when I was in Houston," Freeman said. "My knee was hurt. I was on the practice squad. I remember saying, 'You know, Coach, I want to get into coaching."

Fickell told Freeman that was a bad idea.

"He said, 'Let me tell you something, you don't want to be a coach,'" Freeman said. "'Go play as long as you can. Don't get into this coaching stuff.'"

But the decision was made for Freeman. While getting a physical before a tryout with the Indianapolis Colts, team doctors discovered Freeman had an enlarged heart. His playing career was over. He retired in May 2010.

"I just remember driving home, saying, 'Trust your heart. Trust your heart. You know what you want. And if you don't, God's going to tell you exactly what your future should hold," he said.

Freeman, the coach
Freeman in 2010 joined Fickell, now the Buckeyes co-defensive coordinator, as a graduate assistant at Ohio State. He then spent two seasons as the linebackers coach at Kent State, followed by a four-year stint at Purdue, where he coached linebackers all four seasons and served as the Boilermakers co-defensive coordinator in 2016.

Cincinnati hired Fickell Dec. 10 of that year. Three days later, Freeman announced he was joining Fickell and becoming the Bearcats defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

"No matter what, I want to deal with people I can trust," Fickell said. "For me, as much as anything, it's having a core nucleus of people that you know and that you can trust. He was a guy, because of our history, it just made sense. And it was a situation, too, where he was up for it and open for it."

Over the past two seasons with Freeman at the helm of the Cincinnati defense, the Bearcats have led the American Athletic Conference in scoring defense and forced an AAC-best 25 turnovers in 2019. Two of Freeman's top defenders, senior safety Darrick Forrest and sophomore cornerback Ahmad Gardner, were named Monday to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented annually to the most outstanding defensive player in college football.

Freeman credits the defense's success to the "Black Cat" brand of football he's brought to Cincinnati, which stresses challenging each other to be better, the importance of having every defensive unit playing as one, and being fundamentally sound in every facet of the game.

It also has a lot to do with the top-notch recruits Freeman has been able to help bring onto campus. The 2020 recruiting class is the best among Cincinnati's peers and better than previous UC teams dating back at least two decades, according to 247Sports.com team rankings.

"I am who I am. I don't try to sell some BS or something that's not real. I'm going to be who I am," Freeman said. "Recruiting is really an area where you can outwork your opponent. There's a direct area where if you work harder than other coaches, you have a better chance of getting that recruit to come to Cincinnati, and I take pride in that. I take pride in making sure that I'm exhausting every tool or area that I can to make sure I am trying to do more than the next guy. But also understanding that this is all about building a relationship with the student-athlete."

Staying at Cincinnati
Fickell in February turned down an opportunity to become the head coach at Michigan State. After that, the Spartans shifted their focus to Mel Tucker, who coached at Ohio State while both Fickell and Freeman were in Columbus. Tucker accepted the job and wanted Freeman to leave Cincinnati and become his defensive coordinator. Freeman elected to stay with Fickell.

"I have a high level of respect for Mel Tucker," Freeman said. "But ultimately, I have goals, personal goals, and one of those is wanting to be a head coach, and I believe I don't need to leave the University of Cincinnati to achieve that goal. I'm in a great position as the defensive coordinator here at Cincinnati to one day be in position to be a head coach, and going to Michigan State didn't make me feel like I was going to be anymore closer to it. Did the relationship with Coach Fickell come into play? Absolutely. Did the relationship I have with our kids here come into play? Absolutely."

With both Fickell and Freeman choosing to stay put, the future looks bright for the Bearcats, who are scheduled to open their fourth season with the two coaches against Austin Peay Sept. 3 at Nippert Stadium. The future also looks full of more healthy fighting, which seems to happen often between Fickell and Freeman.

"When you've dealt with a kid since he's been 16, 17 years old, he's run the gamut of thinking I was a nice guy and cool during the recruiting process, and then getting there and realizing I'm such an *******, and going home with his friends and say, 'This guy's the biggest jerk,'" Fickell said. "You grow through all those things. It's what gives you what you have now. He's one of those guys who can argue with you in a room. He's not just going to be like, 'Oh yeah, whatever you say,' because he's already had those arguments with me. He understands the relationship and the respect about not having just some 'yes guys.'"

That fighting has trickled down to the two coaches' kids. Freeman and his wife, Joanna, have six children, as do Fickell and his wife, Amy. Recently, the families took a vacation together to Hilton Head, South Carolina. A fun family outing in the pool seems to always turn into a competitive, bloody mess.

"We have our battles," Freeman said. "We have some pool basketball games, which can get kind of bloody. Now, that means me and Fickell will get in there too. We can have some really good, bloody pool basketball games amongst our families. It's a lot of fun. It's a lot of chaos. But I wouldn't trade it for the world."
 
07-16-2020 11:37 AM
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dubcat14 Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
Keith Jenkins has been a really good replacement for the Enquirer.. I'm impressed with his writing so far.
 
07-16-2020 11:44 AM
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bearcatmill Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
Impressed the local fishwrap ran this. Very good article.
 
07-16-2020 12:15 PM
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natibeast21 Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-16-2020 11:44 AM)dubcat14 Wrote:  Keith Jenkins has been a really good replacement for the Enquirer.. I'm impressed with his writing so far.

Agreed. He's been doing a good job.
 
07-16-2020 12:55 PM
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eroc Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-16-2020 11:37 AM)Cat-Man Wrote:  "I have a high level of respect for Mel Tucker," Freeman said. "But ultimately, I have goals, personal goals, and one of those is wanting to be a head coach, and I believe I don't need to leave the University of Cincinnati to achieve that goal. I'm in a great position as the defensive coordinator here at Cincinnati to one day be in position to be a head coach, and going to Michigan State didn't make me feel like I was going to be anymore closer to it. Did the relationship with Coach Fickell come into play? Absolutely. Did the relationship I have with our kids here come into play? Absolutely."

The bolded was highlighted in the original post but i italicized the part i think is as important. if our coaches feel this way, undoubtedly they are letting recruits know that going to msu doesn't get you any closer to your goals. The further down the pecking order msu falls, the better for us in general. This also speaks really well to Cincy as both Freeman and Fickell came from the top dog in the B10 and both chose to stay.
 
07-16-2020 02:23 PM
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ucbandguy Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
We are SO lucky to have these two. I just hope we can keep them for a while.
 
07-16-2020 04:19 PM
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QSECOFR Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.
 
07-16-2020 04:48 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

Yes, I would welcome that opportunity as well. Top notch coaches, husbands, fathers, role models, and teachers of young men. They're staying at UC for Year 4 and beyond!

[Image: images?q=tbn%3AANd9GcR_LnXIIxYeKwhf6CFAi...p;usqp=CAU]
 
07-16-2020 05:57 PM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.
 
07-17-2020 07:30 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.
 
07-17-2020 08:39 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.

BK spurred some jobs after 2008 before ND came a calling in 2009, but the MSU situation for Fickell was so specific in the ways it drew national attention. MSU was the only major job open due to how it occurred, it was perceived as a perfect fit for Fickell, he was very clearly and openly MSU's main target and there was a ton of chatter that he had indeed taken the job (this board was a hilarious mess). Him turning MSU down was such a huge story for those reasons. It was great.
 
07-17-2020 08:55 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.
We owe his wife and all the kids a big thank you! Happy wife happy life.
 
07-17-2020 09:00 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 08:55 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.

BK spurred some jobs after 2008 before ND came a calling in 2009, but the MSU situation for Fickell was so specific in the ways it drew national attention. MSU was the only major job open due to how it occurred, it was perceived as a perfect fit for Fickell, he was very clearly and openly MSU's main target and there was a ton of chatter that he had indeed taken the job (this board was a hilarious mess). Him turning MSU down was such a huge story for those reasons. It was great.

I agree that OKI's post is mostly on point but needs its brakes pumped just a bit. Beyond the jobs BK spurred, Fickell himself had already spurred several jobs like WVU in the B12. But yeah, MSU was the one that got the nation's attention for several reasons including those mark mentioned.

The other part that needs a tiny addendum in my opinion is the comment that Fickell did a great turn for UC by declining MSU. While that is no doubt true, that wasn't charity or even a favor, it was earned. It was a (family) business decision. We (the school, the AD, the team, the fans and the city/community) gave Coach Fickell what he judged to be a superior opportunity for himself and his family than the one he saw at MSU. It's OK to chest-pound some here. If we keep doing what we are doing and moving in the right direction, it's going to take a heck of an opportunity to lure him away any time soon imo. And it's not just because he's a nice guy (although he is that too by all accounts).
 
(This post was last modified: 07-17-2020 10:05 AM by Bearhawkeye.)
07-17-2020 09:54 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 09:54 AM)Bearhawkeye Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:55 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.

BK spurred some jobs after 2008 before ND came a calling in 2009, but the MSU situation for Fickell was so specific in the ways it drew national attention. MSU was the only major job open due to how it occurred, it was perceived as a perfect fit for Fickell, he was very clearly and openly MSU's main target and there was a ton of chatter that he had indeed taken the job (this board was a hilarious mess). Him turning MSU down was such a huge story for those reasons. It was great.

I agree that post is mostly on point but needs its brakes pumped just a bit. Beyond the jobs BK spurred, Fickell himself had already spurred several jobs like WVU in the B12. But yeah, MSU was the one that got the nation's attention for several reasons including those mark mentioned.

The other part that needs a tiny addendum in my opinion is the comment that Fickell did a great turn for UC by declining MSU. While that is no doubt true, that wasn't charity or even a favor, it was earned. It was a (family) business decision. We (the school, the AD, the team, the fans and the city/community) gave Coach Fickell what he judged to be a superior opportunity for himself and his family than the one he saw at MSU. We can chest-pound some here. If we keep doing what we are doing and moving in the right direction, it's going to take a heck of an opportunity to lure him away any time soon imo. And it's not just because he's a nice guy (although he is that took by all accounts).
04-bow

No argument from me. Well said.
 
07-17-2020 09:58 AM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 09:58 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 09:54 AM)Bearhawkeye Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:55 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.

BK spurred some jobs after 2008 before ND came a calling in 2009, but the MSU situation for Fickell was so specific in the ways it drew national attention. MSU was the only major job open due to how it occurred, it was perceived as a perfect fit for Fickell, he was very clearly and openly MSU's main target and there was a ton of chatter that he had indeed taken the job (this board was a hilarious mess). Him turning MSU down was such a huge story for those reasons. It was great.

I agree that post is mostly on point but needs its brakes pumped just a bit. Beyond the jobs BK spurred, Fickell himself had already spurred several jobs like WVU in the B12. But yeah, MSU was the one that got the nation's attention for several reasons including those mark mentioned.

The other part that needs a tiny addendum in my opinion is the comment that Fickell did a great turn for UC by declining MSU. While that is no doubt true, that wasn't charity or even a favor, it was earned. It was a (family) business decision. We (the school, the AD, the team, the fans and the city/community) gave Coach Fickell what he judged to be a superior opportunity for himself and his family than the one he saw at MSU. We can chest-pound some here. If we keep doing what we are doing and moving in the right direction, it's going to take a heck of an opportunity to lure him away any time soon imo. And it's not just because he's a nice guy (although he is that took by all accounts).
04-bow

No argument from me. Well said.

Ditto--a good addendum!
 
07-17-2020 12:05 PM
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 09:00 AM)doss2 Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.
We owe his wife and all the kids a big thank you! Happy wife happy life.

Bolded, truly a pearl of wisdom.
 
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RE: Fickell-Freeman bond translating to success for UC Football
(07-17-2020 09:54 AM)Bearhawkeye Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:55 AM)bearcatmark Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 08:39 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(07-17-2020 07:30 AM)Z-Fly Wrote:  
(07-16-2020 04:48 PM)QSECOFR Wrote:  I’ve never had the opportunity to meet Coach Fickell or Cocach Freeman. I would like to do that someday. They both seem like great guys and I imagine they would interesting to have a conversation with them.

I've met Fickell twice, and met might not be the correct word. I've talked to him very briefly twice. He's pretty much the same guy you see on those YouTube videos. I believe he genuinely means what he says. To me, that is one of the biggest complements I can give.

Awesome post. I never stepped back to look at it that way.
While I've never spoken with Fickell, my impression is the same. He did a great turn for UC in declining MSU--something that we could argue has never happened before with our head coach in football. If we keep him another season, it's truly a high water mark. If we keep him a decade, we'll realize a lot of dreams for both our football program and our conference affiliation.

If he left after this year, we'd be crying in our beers. But, he would have advanced the program considerably and with Freeman as a potential successor, one could envision a seamless transition and continued forward progress.

BK spurred some jobs after 2008 before ND came a calling in 2009, but the MSU situation for Fickell was so specific in the ways it drew national attention. MSU was the only major job open due to how it occurred, it was perceived as a perfect fit for Fickell, he was very clearly and openly MSU's main target and there was a ton of chatter that he had indeed taken the job (this board was a hilarious mess). Him turning MSU down was such a huge story for those reasons. It was great.

I agree that OKI's post is mostly on point but needs its brakes pumped just a bit. Beyond the jobs BK spurred, Fickell himself had already spurred several jobs like WVU in the B12. But yeah, MSU was the one that got the nation's attention for several reasons including those mark mentioned.

The other part that needs a tiny addendum in my opinion is the comment that Fickell did a great turn for UC by declining MSU. While that is no doubt true, that wasn't charity or even a favor, it was earned. It was a (family) business decision. We (the school, the AD, the team, the fans and the city/community) gave Coach Fickell what he judged to be a superior opportunity for himself and his family than the one he saw at MSU. It's OK to chest-pound some here. If we keep doing what we are doing and moving in the right direction, it's going to take a heck of an opportunity to lure him away any time soon imo. And it's not just because he's a nice guy (although he is that too by all accounts).
 
07-17-2020 12:19 PM
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