UC Bearcats coach Luke Fickell agrees to extension for $5 million per year through 2028

Keith Jenkins
Cincinnati Enquirer

Luke Fickell and the University of Cincinnati have agreed to a contract extension that will pay the coach $5 million per year through 2028, university sources told The Enquirer on Monday.

The extension is pending approval by UC's Board of Trustees, which is expected to meet and finalize the deal Feb. 22.

More:Luke Fickell spends National Signing Day introducing additions to UC coaching staff

Fickell's new contract replaces his previous extension, which was approved in August 2020. That previous extension paid Fickell $3.4 million a year starting with the 2020 season.

The new deal includes a $1.6 million annual salary increase for the 48-year-old coach and features a $5.2 million annual salary pool for Fickell's staff, according to sources. The previous extension included a pool of $3.85 million.

More:As other coaches left, Luke Fickell stayed at Cincinnati to continue to build

Fickell, who Cincinnati hired as the 42nd head coach in program history in December 2016, is 48-15 in five seasons at UC.

Fickell led the Bearcats to a 13-0 record and their second straight American Athletic Conference championship last season before losing to Alabama in the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati was the first Group of Five team to earn a spot in the four-team playoff since its inception in 2014.

Fickell, a three-time AAC Coach of the Year (2018, '20 and '21), won several national coach of the year awards last season, including The Home Depot National Coach of the Year, Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year, Dodd Trophy Coach of the Year and the Eddie Robinson Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America.