Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell Selected Walter Camp 2021 FBS Coach of Year, presented by KeyBank

Luke Fickell, head coach of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats, is the Walter Camp 2021 Football Bowl Subdivision Coach of Year, presented by KeyBank. 

The Walter Camp Coach of Year is selected by the nation’s 130 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors.  Fickell is the first coach from UC and the American Athletic Conference to earn the award. 

This season, Cincinnati’s fifth-year head coach led the Bearcats to the only undefeated (13-0) record in college football and a second-consecutive American Athletic Conference Championship.

No. 4 Cincinnati will face top-ranked Alabama in the College Football Playoff Semifinals in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 31.

This season, Cincinnati is one of only two teams in the nation that ranks in the Top 10 in scoring offense (8th – 39.2) and scoring defense (4th – 16.1) and features 12 All-AAC First Team selections, and Walter Camp All-America selections — defensive backs Coby Bryant (1st team) and Ahmad Gardner (2nd team).

Fickell led UC to back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2018 and 2019, and a 9-1 overall record in the condensed 2020 season.

He is a three-time AAC Coach of the Year, winning the conference honors in 2021, 2020 and 2018.  Fickell was also named The Home Depot National Coach of the Year and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year earlier this month.

The 23-year veteran of the FBS coaching ranks took the reins of the UC program after spending 16 years at his alma mater, The Ohio State University. His impressive resume includes being on the staff of two national-championship winning teams (2002 and 2014), seeing more than 40 players selected in the NFL Draft, including 14 first-rounders, and coordinating outstanding defenses over 12 seasons as a co-coordinator or defensive coordinator.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Fickell is a graduate of DeSales High School, where he was a three-time, undefeated state wrestling champion.  Fickell played for Ohio State from 1992-96, redshirting the first year and then starting the next four seasons at nose guard.  He graduated in 1997 with a degree in exercise science.  

Fickell and his wife Amy have six children.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation (,@WalterCampFF) – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.  The Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. For more information, visit the association’s website,

Walter Camp Coaches of the Year

2021 – Luke Fickell, Cincinnati

2020 – Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina

2019 – Ed Orgeron, LSU

2018 – Nick Saban, Alabama

2017 – Mark Richt, Miami

2016 – Mike MacIntyre, Colorado

2015 – Dabo Swinney, Clemson

2014 – Gary Patterson, TCU

2013 – David Cutcliffe, Duke

2012 – Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

2011 – Les Miles, LSU

2010 – Chip Kelly, Oregon

2009 – Gary Patterson, TCU

2008 – Nick Saban, Alabama

2007 – Mark Mangino, Kansas

2006 – Greg Schiano, Rutgers

2005 – Joe Paterno, Penn State

2004 – Tommy Tuberville, Auburn

2003 – Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

2002 – Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

2001 – Ralph Friedgen, Maryland

2000 – Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

1999 – Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

1998 – Bill Synder, Kansas State

1997 – Lloyd Carr, Michigan

1996 – Bruce Snyder, Arizona State

1995 – Gary Barnett, Northwestern

1994 – Joe Paterno, Penn State

1993 – Terry Bowden, Auburn

1992 – Gene Stallings, Alabama

1991 – Bobby Bowden, Florida State

1990 – Bobby Ross, Georgia Tech

1989 – Bill McCartney, Colorado

1988 – Don Nehlen, West Virginia

1987 – Dick MacPherson, Syracuse

1986 – Jimmy Johnson, Miami

1985 – Fisher DeBerry, Air Force

1984 – Joe Morrison, South Carolina

1983 – Mike White, Illinois

1982 – Jerry Stovall, Louisiana State

1981 – Jackie Sherrill, Pittsburgh

1980 – Vince Dooley, Georgia

1979 – John Mackovic, Wake Forest

1978 – Warren Powers, Missouri

1977 – Lou Holtz, Arkansas

1976 – Frank R. Burns, Rutgers

1975 – Frank Kush, Arizona State

1974 – Barry Switzer, Oklahoma

1973 – Johnny Majors, Pittsburgh

1972 – Joe Paterno, Penn State

1971 – Bob Devaney, Nebraska

1970 – Bob Blackman, Dartmouth

1969 – Bo Schembechler, Michigan

1968 – Woody Hayes, Ohio State

1967 – John Pont, Indiana