Fickell says being at Wisconsin, back in Big Ten ‘really in my wheelhouse’

After a successful seven-year run as head coach at the University of Cincinnati, Luke Fickell is in his first year at the helm of the Wisconsin Badgers.

Why did he make the move?

“I’ve probably said it, but it has a lot to do with being back in the Big Ten,” Fickell said Thursday during Big Ten Football Media Days at Lucas Oil Stadium. “It has to do with the respect I’ve always had playing against and preparing for Wisconsin.

“Understanding and recognizing what the culture — what I assumed the culture was like from afar. Felt like something that would be really, really in my wheelhouse. That’s why I said it’s exceeded my expectations in just the way I believe I fit and we fit and the things we’ve been able to do.”

He also felt Madison would fit the needs of his family as well as the families of the assistant coaches he brought with him from Cincinnati.

“I think there’s quite a uniqueness when you put the family involved as well,” he said. “That’s a big part of it.”

The long-time Ohio State assistant coach also explained what his brand of football entails.

“It’s about the way we can do things together.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s running or throwing the ball. It doesn’t matter whether it’s four-wides or they’re packed back in there like the traditional style, whether it’s a three down or four down (linemen).

“What it looks like is the ability for guys to do things together, the ability to feed off one another. Ultimately this is a game about toughness and your ability to be physical up front, your ability to win ball games in the fourth quarter. That has a lot to do with the mentality. That has a lot to do with not just how you play the game but how you train in the game.

“I think all those things together was one of the things from afar that I felt like could fit and be a really good natural fit for me walking in the door.”

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