Luke Fickell will make defensive calls

Updated: December 14, 2011, 9:08 AM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Luke Fickell will make the defensive calls in 2012 and have defensive coordinator in his title, although the final details are still being worked out.

Meyer, speaking Tuesday to WBNS radio in Columbus, said Fickell "will have the [coordinator] title. It might be 'co-,' it might not, but at the end of the day, he'll be calling the defense."

North Carolina interim coach Everett Withers also has been hired as an assistant by Meyer, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad. For now, Withers still plans to coach the Tar Heels in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl.

Meyer had said Tuesday that Withers was being considered for a position on his staff.

Fickell served as Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach until being moved to interim head coach in May following Jim Tressel's resignation. He'll remain the Buckeyes' interim head coach through the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl against Florida on Jan. 2.

Withers has served as defensive coordinator at North Carolina, Minnesota and Louisville, among his coaching stops.

Meyer has spoken with former Arizona coach Mike Stoops about a position at Ohio State. The only two coaches officially named to Meyer's staff are Fickell and Tom Herman, who comes from Iowa State to serve as the Buckeyes' offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. Current assistants Stan Drayton and Taver Johnson are expected to remain with Meyer's staff.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com.