It’s been quite the past few days on the Michigan State football front.
Last Tuesday, Mark Dantonio set the college football world ablaze by announcing that he is stepping down after 13 seasons as the Michigan State football head coach. In the ensuing days…
Iowa State’s Matt Campbell reportedly turned down overtures. So did Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi. Emphatically and awesomely. San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who began his coaching career at Michigan State football, declined the opportunity to interveiw for the job last week. Saturday, Colorado’s Mel Tucker removed himself from consideration as well.
While interim Michigan State football head coach Mike Tressel is the wagering favorite, Luke Fickell has been connected to the opening since Dantonio stepped down. And has been connected as the favorite of those who will need to sign off on Dantonio’s replacement. The Cincinnati head coach stated last Wednesday that he has not spoken to anyone connected to the Michigan State football program.
According to a Detroit Free Press report Saturday afternoon, though, and citing multiple sources with knowledge of the search, that is expected to change as Fickell will meet with MSU’s search committee to discuss the opening. A timeframe for the meeting wasn’t detailed.
The Free Press also reported that Tucker would be meeting with the committee. Around that same time, Tucker issued his statement of commitment to the Buffs on Twitter.
Fickell just completed his third season as the Bearcats’ boss. After a 4-8 first season, UC won 11 games each of the past two seasons. It’s just the second time in school history they’ve won 11-plus games in back-to-back seasons.
Both Fickell and Dantonio were on the Ohio State coaching staff in 2002-03, before Dantonio, oddly enough, left to become the head coach at Cincinnati. Speculation is, Dantonio wants either Fickell or the nephew of former OSU head coach Jim Tressel to replace him.
Should Fickell ultimately leave the AAC program, his contract calls for a $2 million buyout.
And if Fickell rebuffs the overtures? FootballScoop.com reports that Pat Shurmur or Butch Jones could be in play in East Lansing.