With the departure of University of Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell for Wisconsin, it’s time to start looking at names of coaches the Bearcats could be looking at to replace their newly departed head coach.
In each article, we’ll look at a handful of names Bearcats Director of Athletics John Cunningham could be looking towards as his newest head football coach.
CURRENT JOB: Kent State – Head Coach
AGE: 36 YEARS
PAST COACHING JOBS: College Assistant: Nebraska-Omaha, Akron, Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green, Syracuse. College Head Coach: Kent State (2018 – Present).
First met Coach Lewis when he was an assistant at Eastern Illinois, and you could see then he was a future head coach. With high energy and an understanding of a player’s mindset, Lewis played at Wisconsin and was one of Dino Babers prominent coaches as Babers rose in the coaching world. Hired by Kent State in 2018, Lewis took over a troubled program and has given it stability along with two bowl game appearances. Known for his wide-open offensive attack, Lewis will not be in the Mid-American Conference much longer. Will Cincinnati be the program that pulls him away?
AGE: 40 YEARS
PAST COACHING JOBS: College Assistant: Wisconsin. College Head Coach: Wisconsin (Interim) 2022 season.
Leonhard looked to have earned the chance to become the Badgers full-time head coach after taking over the program during the 2022 season after the firing of Paul Chryst. But as Cincinnati fans know, the Badgers hired away Luke Fickell. Wisconsin went 4-3 during his tenure, and Leonhard has seen his stock rise. A former walk-on at Wisconsin, Leonhard has always been an overachiever and should be expected to become a head coach sooner than later. However, it would seem Cincinnati hiring Leonhard at this time would be a stretch. At this writing, Leonhard looked like he was planning to stay with Wisconsin.
CURRENT JOB: TCE – Offensive Coordinator / QBs
AGE: 33 YEARS
PAST COACHING JOBS: College Assistant: Augustana, East Carolina, Kansas, Appalachian State, SMU, TCU (2022 – Present).
If you’re looking for a name, Garrett Riley, the younger brother of USC head coach Lincoln Riley is an up-and-comer. Cincinnati fans have witnessed his work as he was the offensive coordinator for SMU the previous two years before heading over to TCU. Of course, the lack of recruiting in Ohio would be a possible concern when talking about Riley. Still, some feel Cincinnati must expand its recruiting footprint, with them headed to the Big 12 to include more recruiting in Texas and the Southwest. Other programs I’ve witnessed make this same move has not always worked as planned.
This is the final list of names from us. We would fully expect Cincinnati to make a hire by the early part of this coming week, if not sooner, as everything in college football recruiting is about to explode as teams work towards the first National Signing Day later this month.
**NOTE: The names listed above are for enjoyment to discuss the coaching search at the University of Cincinnati. There will be many names listed across the internet in the coming days.