HEAD COACH HUNT: Fickell announces he will stay put in Cincinnati

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EAST LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- Luke Fickell, who interviewed with MSU over the weekend, has decided to stay at Cincinnati.

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell takes the field with his players before the first half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Monday morning News 10 found out that Fickell has turned down an offer to be the Spartans' next head football coach.

Michigan State Athletic Director Bill Beekman was on a flight that landed in Cincinnati Saturday night to interview current Cincinnati football Head Coach Luke Fickell.

The NBC affiliate in Cincinnati (WLWT) provided WILX video of Beekman getting off the plane Saturday night.

WLWT's Brandon Saho reported that Beekman was set to interview Fickell at some point on Sunday, Feb. 9.

The opening at Michigan State comes after the now-former Head Coach Mark Dantonio retired after 13 seasons in East Lansing on Tuesday. Dantonio retired as the all-time winningest coach in program history with 114 wins.

Media members and fans alike had been speculating that Fickell would be Dantonio's successor, however, Fickell announced he will be staying put.

When asked what his bottom-line reason for staying in Cinncinati was, Fickell said, "Family and the relationships that you've built. And I know this is, at some point in time, things always come to an end whether they get rid of you, kids leave, there are all kinds of things, but the bottom line is first and foremost family. Obviously my family loves it here. I got a unique situation with the age of my kids, but also the relationships you build."

Beekman landed back in Lansing Sunday afternoon without Fickell.

Fickell started off his career as a player and then assistant coach at Ohio State before serving the 2011 season as interim head coach. Fickell has been the head coach at Cincinnati since 2017 and has compiled a (26-13) record during his tenure.

Right now, Mike Tressel will serve as the acting head coach while the university conducts a search to replace Dantonio.

Tressel is listed as the Spartans' Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Linebackers Coach.

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