UC Bearcats football coach Lou Fickell Named to 2022 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List

Luke Fickell (courtesy UC Sports Communications)

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati football head coach Luke Fickell was named to the preseason watch list for the 2022 Dodd Trophy presented by PNC on Tuesday.

Fickell, entering his sixth season at UC, was honored with the 2021 Dodd Trophy and is among 20 of the nation’s top coaches on the watch list for the coveted award this season. The Dodd Trophy preseason watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc., taking into consideration each program’s projected success for the 2022 season, graduation rate, Academic Progress Rate (APR), and each coach’s commitment to service and charity in the community.

In addition to the 2021 Dodd Trophy, Fickell collected seven other national coach of the year honors last season, including The Home Depot National Coach of the Year, Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year, the Stallings Award, the Eddie Robinson Award, as well as accolades from the AFCA, Walter Camp Foundation and Sporting News. 

Fickell, a three-time AAC Coach of the Year, is 48-15 (.762) in five seasons at UC. In 2021, the Bearcats won their second consecutive AAC Championship title and finished as the nation’s only undefeated team in the regular season, earning a spot as the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. Cincinnati also set school records for points (516) and touchdowns (70) in 2021 and extended the nation’s second-longest home winning streak to 27-straight at Nippert Stadium. 

The program saw 12 players earn 2021 All-AAC First Team honors, including two-time conference offensive player of the year senior quarterback Desmond Ridder and unanimous defensive player of the year junior cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner.

Fickell has watched 16 Bearcats earn a selection in the NFL Draft, including a school-record nine draft picks in 2022.

Off the field, Cincinnati has won five of the last six AAC Football Team Academic Excellence Awards and holds a 100% graduation rate for four-year players under Fickell. A nation-leading four Bearcats collected CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2021, including First Team honorees Ridder and Alec Pierce and Second Team winners Bryan Cook and Lorenz Metz.  Additionally, UC football had a perfect 1,000 score in the latest Academic Progress Rate (APR) released earlier this summer.   

THE BEARCATS ARE READY TO RELOAD
Led by the reigning consensus National Coach of the Year Luke Fickell and 12 returning starters, the Bearcats are the two-time defending AAC Champions and are coming off of a 13-1 season that culminated in a trip to the 2021 College Football Playoff. With a 44-7 mark since the start of 2018, Cincinnati’s 86% winning percentage ranks among the nation’s Top 5 winning percentages over the last four years. 

Cincinnati opens the 2022 season at 3:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 3 against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., before coming home to Nippert Stadium to welcome Kennesaw State at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 10.

While season tickets are sold out for the first time in school history, fans can still purchase single-game tickets for as low as $25 HERE. Fans can also join the waiting list for 2023 season tickets.

DAY ONE READY CAMPAIGN
Cincinnati will officially join the Big 12 on July 1, 2023. The Bearcats are entering into a new era as a Power Five school, and in joining the Big 12, every competitive advantage matters for UC’s 450-plus student-athletes.

As a significant part of the university’s Next, Now Campaign, UC Athletics’ Day One Ready Campaign is a $100 million fundraising initiative that’s focused on achieving Next Level Success in the new conference. With fans’ support for signature facilities, student-athlete wellness and championship readiness, the Bearcats won’t just be prepared to compete on their first official day in the Big 12.

They’ll be ready to bring championships home to Cincinnati.

Donate to the Day One Ready Campaign here.

FOLLOW THE BEARCATS
For all the latest information on Cincinnati Athletics, please visit GoBEARCATS.com. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Cincinnati Athletics on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

COURTESY UC SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

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