What is Luke Fickell's Salary?

Following a historic 2021 season that saw the Cincinnati Bearcats make the College Football Playoff, Luke Fickell’s name was again a hot topic on the coaching carousel. Cincinnati was well aware and proactively ensured their head coach would stick with the program. The job is made more attractive by the upcoming move to the Big 12, and the university and Fickell agreed to a new contract in February of 2022.

The new deal pays Fickell $5 million annually through the 2028 season. His buyout begins at $3.5 million and drops yearly by $500,000. That figure puts Fickell well below the salaries of the top paid coaches in the nation, with Lincoln Riley, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, and others eclipsing $9 million annually. However, the new deal compensates Fickell well for Cincinnati’s current level. The $5 million salary is more than all but three current Big 12 head coaches: Mike Gundy, Brent Venables, and Steve Sarkisian.

Earning His Pay

Luke Fickell will have his work cut out to replicate the Bearcats’ success a season ago. Cincinnati has to replace several NFL draft picks and departed veterans and battle a schedule that opens with a road game against the ranked Arkansas Razorbacks on September 3.