UC fans react to Buckeye at the helm of Bearcat nation

Posted at 7:04 PM, Dec 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-10 23:29:49-05

CINCINNATI -- Tommy Tuberville is out.

And Columbus born and raised, Ohio State University Buckeye Luke Fickell  --  is in.

While the University of Cincinnati officially welcomed Fickell with open arms Saturday, Bearcats fans have to embrace a man who spent 15 years coaching at rival school Ohio State University.

RELATED: Luke Fickell agrees to 6-year deal as UC coach

But after a 4-8 2016 season, most Bearcats fans say they’re just ready to win.

"I think the last year was the last straw from Tommy Tuberville, so I think fans were tired of losing,” said UC sophomore Corbin Brock.

UC Athletics say Fickell is an excellent recruiter with ties to the Midwest and Florida.

"His extensive ties to the state of Ohio, experience at a championship-level program in Ohio State, ability to evaluate and develop talent, energy and leadership are all qualities which set him apart," Cincinnati athletic director Mike Bohn said of Fickell.

In his first press conference as a Bearcat Saturday afternoon, Fickell said he plans to tap into the rich resource of Cincinnati high school football.

WATCH the full press conference in the player below. 

“We’ve got to do the best job in our city, in our state, in 300-mile radius of our campus,” Fickell said. “We must reconnect with the high school football coaches and let them know how passionate we are. There’s no better high school football than the city of Cincinnati."

RELATED: Fickell vows to reconnect with Cincinnati HS football

UC junior Ryan Schutt doesn’t think the announcement will see too much push back, if any.

“He's (Fickell) a really good defensive coordinator,” Schutt said. “I think he's done a really good job, and I think that people will be excited to have him on the team."

UC fan Mike Leonard, of Madeira, said he is excited to see Fickell head Bearcat nation.

“He's got a lot of character,” Leonard said. “I think he brings a lot of energy, commitment and enthusiasm. I think it's a great hire.” 

Of his 15 years with the OSU Buckeyes, 10 of them were spent as a defensive coordinator. 

Fickell was also interim head coach for the 2011 season after Jim Tressel quit under an NCAA investigation. The Buckeyes went 6-7 under Fickell that year, and some fans like Rick Wilton say that makes them nervous. 

"We'll see,” Wilton said. “I'm a little suspect about him… I know he was in a tough situation the first time he did the OSU thing, but he did also have one of the best recruiting classes at that time... so we'll see."

Though Fickell will stay with the Buckeyes through playoffs, UC’s Board of Trustees is expected to approve the six-year deal Sunday afternoon.