We have known for weeks that Marcus Freeman was going to be apart of the Bearcats staff, but today it was made official. For the last week or so we have known Doug Phillips was going to be on the staff as well. Today the University of Cincinnati announced that Luke Fickell has brought in two Ohio natives into the fold (Phillips from Youngstown and Freeman from Dayton). This is great new for people who want the Bearcats to have a better recruiting presence locally.
Welcome Freeman and Phillips!!
University of Cincinnati Football Head Coach Luke Fickell named assistant coaches Marcus Freeman and Doug Phillips to his staff Thursday. Freeman will serve as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach while Phillips will be the special teams coordinator.
Both have are Ohio natives and have experience coaching and recruiting the state. Freeman grew up in the Columbus area and played and later coached at Ohio State. Phillips is a Youngstown native who is a former Ohio high school head coach and has spent time at Youngstown State, Ohio State and Bowling Green.
“When I talked to our team on the day I was hired, I promised them I would hire an outstanding staff who were not only great motivators and teachers of football, but also great men off the field,” Fickell said. “Marcus and Doug are the first two steps in making that promise a reality. They’re both great men and coaches. I coached Marcus at Ohio State and he was later a part of our staff and I’ve coached with Doug and known him for a long time and they are great fits for Cincinnati. Their recruiting and coaching ties to the state of Ohio are very important to me because this is our home. This is our backyard where we can make the most impact on our roster and give our fans and supporters a team they can be proud of.”
Freeman joins the Bearcats staff after a four-year stint at Purdue. He coached linebackers all four seasons and served as the Boilermakers co-defensive coordinator in 2015. He coached linebackers at Kent State for two years and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Ohio State in 2010.
Freeman played for Fickell at Ohio State from 2004-08, helping lead Ohio State to four conference titles, three BCS bowls and two trips to the national title game during his career. A Second-Team All-Big Ten selection in 2008, he also grabbed Academic All-Big Ten and academic all-district honors along with earning his bachelor's degree in 2007 and a master's in 2011 from OSU. He played in the 2009 Senior Bowl and was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, spending time with the Bears, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans before a medical condition ended his playing career. A former prep standout, Freeman was a Parade All-American at Wayne HS in Huber Heights, Ohio.
Phillips returns to an on-field role after spending the 2016 season at Iowa State as the director of player personnel. He was a high school administrator from 2008-15, serving as a principal and superintendent, most recently as the superintendent at West Branch Local Schools in Beloit, Ohio.
He has 14 years of football coaching experience, including six at the collegiate level. He was the recruiting coordinator at Bowling Green from 2007-08, helping the Falcons share the 2007 Mid-American Conference East Division title and earning a bowl bid. He was a defensive quality control assistant at Ohio State in 2006. The Buckeyes were Big Ten champions, ranked No. 1 in the nation and played in the 2007 BCS National Championship game.
From 1997-2005, Phillips served as a high school head football coach at Springfield H.S. in New Middletown, Ohio (1997-2000) and Salem H.S. in Salem Ohio (2001-05), turning around both programs. The 2000 Springfield squad accomplished its first undefeated regular season in school history and advanced to the OHSAA Regional semifinals. Phillips began his coaching career at Youngstown State as a graduate assistant from 1991-92. The Penguins were the NCAA Division I-AA national champs in 1991 and national runner-ups in 1992. Phillips is a 1991 graduate of Toledo and earned a master’s degree from Youngstown State in 1995.
Additional coaching and staff appointments will be announced as they are finalized.