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Wisconsin Football: Luke Fickell Cracks the Top 10 in PFF’s Head Coaches List



Wisconsin Football Head Coach Luke Fickell

Madison, Wis. – UW Athletic Director Chris McIntosh made the splash move of the offseason when he hired Luke Fickell to take over the Wisconsin football program.

Early returns have brought plenty of excitement. From transfer additions to a solid early 2024 recruiting class, Fickell has already made waves for Wisconsin. 

Pro Football Focus’s Chandler Vessels released a list of the top 25 coaches in college football for 2023, and Badgers head coach Luke Fickell came in at No. 9.

“Fickell made history in 2021 by leading Cincinnati to an undefeated regular season and the College Football Playoff, making it the first Group of Five school to earn a bid. Now he is set to enter his first season with the Badgers, who finished 7-6 and had a losing Big Ten record last season for the first time since 2008.”

Fickell was one of five Big Ten coaches to land in PFF’s top 25 coaches list. Other coaches included Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh (No. 3), Ohio State’s Ryan Day (No. 7), Penn State’s James Franklin (No. 10), and Nebraska’s Matt Rhule (No. 25).

Expectations are high for Wisconsin football head coach Luke Fickell

Earning a top-10 head coach nomination is nothing to scoff at, especially when Fickell is yet to coach a game for Wisconsin. However, the ranking shows that there are high expectations set for the program. 

Fickell is a program builder, as evident from his time at Cincinnati. After a disappointing season for UW, Fickell could be the right man to steer the program back to Big Ten title contention. Expectations are already high, but with a stud head coach like Fickell, how could they not be? 

With a restructured offensive philosophy and a new defensive coordinator, Wisconsin has completely overhauled its football program. The new schemes will be a massive shakeup for tenured Badger fans, but a more modernized approach could suit the program well.

The Badgers have a proven winner and program builder with Fickell at the helm. There is so much to be excited about early in his tenure, but plenty of work to do.

Is it football season yet?

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Jake Maier is the managing editor and publisher at He has provided coaching and editorial support to numerous writers in his role, contributing significantly to the platform's growth. His expertise extends to Wisconsin Badgers football, basketball, and recruiting coverage. Jake's previous bylines can be found at Fansided and Wisconsin Sports Heroics.