Yesterday morning, June 28th, 2011, Luke Fickell joined Dan Patrick on his radio show to do his first interview as the Buckeyes head football coach, without the interim tag hanging from it. He had some great things to say, and is a very confident human being.
Dan Patrick opened up with a question about being the interim head coach, and Coach Luke Fickell replied that the Athletic Director at the Ohio State University, Gene Smith, had removed the interim tag a few weeks ago at a press conference. This move further letting Luke Fickell know that he is "our" man.
When talking about the Ohio State Buckeyes, why wouldn't there be a question about Jim Tressel, Fickell was asked if he had talked to the former coach, in which he replied I haven't talked with him face to face since Labor Day, but indicated that he had communicated with him via telephone several times since then.
There were allegations swirling about Coach Fickell disrespecting Terrelle Pryor, which were quickly laid to rest in a very laughable way by the new coach, on him ignoring Terrelle, Terrelle left a message on my cell phone, but I was at the Taylor Swift concert with my daughter and god-daughters and did not call him back. Coach Fickell sent his best wishes to Pryor, saying he hoped he would return to finish his degree and that Buckeye Nation is behind him.
During the interview Coach Fickell several times placed emphasis on the word "Focus", stating multiple times that the team needed to focus on the things they believe in and to only focus on the things that they themselves could control.
Fickell indicated that he had not yet had time to be nervous or excited about everything that has happened for him and his family in the last few months, simply stating "Everything has happened so fast, we just haven't had too much time to set down and let it all soak in."
When asked about the scandal that reeked havoc on the Columbus Campus, Fickell said, It's a long road, we have to get back on the right track. We as a university, have to make sure that these things don't happen again. He also said it starts with education first, not just in the class room, but to make these young people aware of some of the things they could run into while being a Buckeye.
He reiterated that the Buckeye fans love their team and some can be over passionate, and that most fans aren't aware of the rules that the NCAA has in place for college student athletes.
When Dan Patrick asked Coach Fickell if he had any doubts about being successful, Fickell immediately and defiantly replied "Absolutely Not".
In the middle of the phone interview, Dan Patrick took to his attempt at comedy and asked Coach Fickell, If you took all of the coaches in the Big Ten Conference and threw all of them inside the octagon, who's coming out the winner? Luke chuckled a little at the question and then responded with "Me!" He said "I'm 6'4", 240 pounds and I have wrestled for close to 20 years, I like my odds."
Then Patrick asked an intriguing question that through coach Fickell for a loop, "Are you planning on wearing a Sweater Vest on Game days"? Coach Fickell replied with no chance, that he thinks that is somewhat of a sacred thing for Jim Tressel and that he had no plans to imitate the former coach.
The Ohio State University football programs leading man, Luke Fickell, wrapped up the phone interview by saying that he is just as "fired up" about the upcoming season as his players. Fickell is a very passionate and confident person, who intends to not miss a beat with this years Buckeye football team.
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