Cincinnati’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a contract extension for Bearcats football coach Luke Fickell on Tuesday morning, as expected.
The approval made official Fickell’s two-year extension through the 2028 season that will pay him $5 million per year, as first reported by The Athletic last week. The new deal represents an annual increase of $1.6 million to Fickell’s salary and bumps his assistant salary pool from $3.85 million up to $5.2 million.
“(The new extension) was a response to (Fickell’s) success as he’s progressed here,” Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham said after the board meeting on Tuesday. “Especially over the last two years, the number of tremendous victories we’ve had and how the program has moved in the direction in terms of academics, off-the-field, what his program is all about. But certainly, the Big 12 played a role in that. We understand what it’s going to take and what the price of poker is in the Big 12. That’s going to be something we’ll have to continue to grow.”
Cunningham said the extension is funded through a combination of fundraising and expected revenue growth upon the Bearcats joining the Big 12 as early as the 2023 season.