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Mike Tressel returns to UC as defensive coordinator, linebackers coach

Mike Tressel, Harlon Barnett
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 18:41:57-05

CINCINNATI — University of Cincinnati head football coach Luke Fickell announced Mike Tressel as the Bearcats' new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Wednesday.

After 14 seasons at Michigan State, Tressel returns to UC, where he was special teams coordinator/linebackers coach from 2004 to 2006.

"We are happy to welcome Mike and his family back into our program," Fickell said in a release. "As we went through the process of hiring a coordinator for the first time in my tenure here, it was truly about finding someone who was the right fit for all of us and Mike felt like a natural fit. He has previous experience at UC and we worked together at a prior school so there's a comfort level there. Mike is an experienced coach who knows how to call a defense and I respect the way he goes about things. Excited to get spring football started in the near future and see him working directly with our team."

Tressel has 25 years of coaching experience, notably as Michigan State's assistant head coach in 2019 and coaching the safeties in 2020. He was also linebackers coach from 2007-19 and the special teams coordinator his first eight seasons there. He shared defensive coordinator duties for two seasons (2016-17) and was sole defensive coordinator for two seasons (2018-19).

"I am honored to return to the University of Cincinnati as defensive coordinator," Tressel said in the announcement Wednesday. "I have a lot of respect for Coach Fickell as a person, and the way he runs his program. The achievements of the defense over the past few seasons are phenomenal and I am excited to build on the legacy of effort and attitude that has been established. My family and I truly appreciate the opportunity to come back to a very special place in Cincinnati."

From 2002 to 2003, Tressel and Fickell were both on the Ohio State staff together, when the Buckeyes were national champions.

Seven of Tressel's former linebackers went on to play in the NFL, including former Bearcats Jamar Enzor (New York Jets) and Tyjuan Hagler (Indianapolis Colts).