With the departure of Luke Fickell, the Bearcats are left with uncertainty and a move to the Big 12 approaching. There are several ramifications from Fickell’s decision including a slew of decommits and transfers.
In addition to roster changes, the coaching staff will look much different next season under new leadership and that could be difficult to manage as the program adjusts to a different conference.
After the announcement that Fickell would be leaving, a few recruits reopened their recruitment including 2023 4-star defensive back Amare Snowden, 3-star wide receiver Ayden Greene and 3-star defensive back Jonas Duclona.
There will be even more decommitments and transfers as freshman cornerback JQ Hardaway and freshman receiver Jojo Bermudez revealed their decision to enter the transfer portal on Sunday.
Cincinnati Football: Ramifications, reactions from Luke Fickell’s recent departure
It’s going to be a challenge for the entire program to adjust to a new head coach while joining the Big 12 but there’s reason to believe the success can continue if the right person is hired and can ease the transition period.
The expectations for next season might change as the team hopes to find stability without Fickell but Cincinnati is an attractive job that should create an intriguing search in the near future.
During a press conference on Sunday night, the Bearcats director of athletics John Cunningham discussed Fickell’s departure and what happens moving forward via Cincinnati Athletics.
"“This morning I had a conversation with Luke Fickell and he informed me that he would be taking the head coaching job at Wisconsin. I think I speak for all Bearcats when I say we wish him nothing but the best. What he has done for this program in his time here has been remarkable. It has set us up to be extremely strong going forward in all aspects of our program with the Big 12 around the corner. This is a very desirable job with a lot of things going for us. A lot of that has to do with his leadership and guidance. I have placed Kerry Coombs as our interim head coach for the time being. We had a chance to meet with the team and Kerry was able to address them. Obviously coach Coombs has deep roots here and has been through similar types of situations in the past. We have a tremendous job here. When you think about our fan support, the Big 12 opportunities and resources that we have and the recruiting base here in Ohio. We are a hotbed for high school recruiting and have a university that is going in the right direction. I’ve personally been through this several times before at other institutions and a basketball search here at Cincinnati. I’m ready and we’re going to find a coach that is going to lead this program and win championships.”"