CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bearcats and football coach Luke Fickell have agreed to a contract extension, sources confirm to WCPO.
The Athletic first reported Fickell will make $5 million per year to coach the Bearcats through 2028. The extension is still pending approval from UC's Board of Trustees, which will meet Feb. 22.
Fickell's newest contract will replace the extension he received in 2020. The Athletic's Justin Williams reports the new deal represents a $1.6 million increase in Fickell's annual salary and a $1.35 million increase in staff salary pool.
UC finished the season at No. 4 in the nation, the first Group of Five team to ever make the College Football Playoff. At the end of 2021, Fickell was the 45th highest-paid coach in college football, according to USA Today.
“He’s worth probably $7 to $8 million,” said Richard Katz, a Cincinnati-based sports agent. “I mean, he can make this program into one of the top football programs in the country.”
When two top jobs opened up at Notre Dame and Oklahoma, oddsmakers listed Fickell as a top prospect in both coaching searches. Still, he said in a press conference he "wouldn't know (about the openings) if someone didn't tell (him)."
247Sports ranked UC's 2022 recruiting class 42nd in the nation and first in the American Athletic Conference, while Rivals has the Bearcats at No. 41. UC will join the Big 12 Conference no later than 2024.