Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on Tuesday interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy at Florida Atlantic, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Florida Atlantic athletic director Pat Chun, who previously served as Ohio State's executive associate athletics director for external relations, flew to Columbus to interview Fickell, according to the newspaper. Carl Pelini resigned as FAU's coach last week after allegations that he was spotted using marijuana and cocaine.
The Sun Sentinel reports that Fickell is Chun's top target. Fickell served as Ohio State's head coach during the 2011 season after Jim Tressel resigned in May of that year. Ohio State went on to hire Urban Meyer as coach, and Fickell was retained as defensive coordinator. Fickell, 40, interviewed for Pitt's coaching vacancy in December 2011.
Fickell is Ohio State's highest-paid assistant, earning $600,000 in 2013, and ranks second in the Big Ten behind only Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
I always thought Fickell would hold out for a major-conference job as his first head-coaching stop, but FAU could be a good fit because of his connection with Chun. His success as a recruiter could boost an Owls program located in a hotbed of high school talent.
Whether FAU can pay Fickell a decent salary is another question here. It'll be interesting to see how the process unfolds.