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 (www.waltercamp.org,@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, www.ncfaa.org
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