Cincinnati officially extended Luke Fickell's contract, after the deal was first reported last week.
"Completing a contract extension for Coach Fickell was a top priority for our athletic department and university, and shows our commitment to growing this football program and taking it to the next level," AD John Cunningham said. "We believe we have the best coach in the country and certainly the best leader for our Cincinnati football program. He has proven that day in and day out by building a culture that consistently wins and breaks records, but most importantly develops men of great character, setting them up to succeed in life. I can't thank President Neville Pinto enough for his leadership and work on getting this contract completed.
"We share Coach Fickell's vision to grow the program. This new contract ensures that we are united and committed to enhancing our university and continuing to impact the lives of student-athletes – core missions of our athletic department. This is also a major step towards making sure we will be 'Day One Ready' and prepared to compete for championships when we join the Big 12 conference."
The deal keeps Fickell under contract through 2028 with an immediate raise to $5 million per year. His assistant salary pool will be $5.2 million.
The extension makes Cincinnati immediately competitive upon entry to the Big 12. In fact, Fickell stands as the league's highest-paid coach outside Texas' Steve Sarkisian and Oklahoma's Brent Venables.
Cincinnati became the first Group of 5 program to crash the College Football Playoff last season and stands at 44-7 over the past four seasons. The Bearcats have won 23 straight games against every program except Alabama and Georgia.
"I appreciate the support of the leadership at the University of Cincinnati, including Director of Athletics and President Neville Pinto, as well as the Board of Trustees, our fans and our whole university and Cincinnati community," Fickell said. "John and President Pinto share my vision for how we want to grow this program and take it to the next level, and that's by investing in people - not just the head coach - and providing the necessary resources to prepare student-athletes to be at their best on and off the field.
"I'm truly honored to be the head coach of the University of Cincinnati and excited to keep working with our phenomenal student-athletes and administration to continue to develop our program. Now, it's time to get to work."
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