Fickell may be in running for FAU job


COLUMBUS — Florida Atlantic has reportedly made Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell the top target for its coaching vacancy.

FAU athletic director Pat Chun, an OSU alum and longtime former staffer, flew to Columbus on Tuesday to interview Fickell, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Owls coach Carl Pelini, the brother of Nebraska’s Bo Pelini, resigned last month after he was spotted allegedly using marijuana and cocaine.

Fickell is in his second year as defensive coordinator after serving as the Buckeyes’ interim coach during the chaotic 6-7 season in 2011. With a $600,000 annual salary, he is Ohio State’s highest-paid assistant and second in the Big Ten behind Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison. Pelini, who went 5-15 in parts of two seasons at FAU, made about $500,000 per year.

An Ohio State spokesman said only that Fickell was at the Buckeyes’ football facility Tuesday. Fourth-ranked OSU (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) has a bye Saturday before traveling to Illinois on Nov. 16.