June 16, 2024

Amy Fickell was wrapping up an interview in her family room last month when a face, covered with guilt, appeared from around the corner. One of her 8-year-old twins was requesting her presence in the basement. He needed to show her something.

She is the wife of University of Wisconsin football coach Luke Fickell, flourishes in her role as an always-on-the-go mentor for other wives and significant others inside a program filled with new faces, and she somehow finds time to be a part-time workout instructor. Oh, and by the way, she’s the mother of six.

Those maternal instincts immediately kicked in on that summer day inside the Fickells’ home. Amy could tell immediately that this wasn’t a high-level emergency. Her son could wait a few minutes.

So her story continued, Amy telling me how the original plan was to have a big family. Maybe not as large as the one she grew up in — Amy was the eighth of 10 children in a family that lived on a dairy farm in northwest Ohio — but she wanted a lot of kids. That plan changed when Luke and Amy’s first child, Landon, was a handful for first-time parents, one of whom was a coach who worked 16-hour days at times. Maybe a family of three kids was big enough.

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