Paul Petrino has vivid memories of Mike Mickens – as No. 21 for the University of Cincinnati, a player Petrino’s Louisville offenses had to elude.

“He was a great player at Cincinnati,” Petrino said in announcing Mickens as the cornerbacks coach on his University of Idaho staff. “I coached against him for three years. We used to have some good battles. I loved he way he played the game.”

As for his coaching career, Mickens came with the endorsement of new Vandal defensive coordinator Ronnie Lee with whom he worked at Indiana State in 2012.

“Coach Lee is really excited to have him – a guy he can trust; a guy who’s been in the room with him,” Petrino said.

Prior to his season at Indiana State, Mickens was a defensive assistant at Cincinnati where he assisted the defensive coaching staff in all aspects on and off the field, which included film breakdown, scouting and practice preparation.

He was drafted by Dallas in the 2009 NFL draft. He wound up playing for both Tampa Bay and Cincinnati as well as the Calgary Stampeders before retiring because of injury.

As a collegian, he is Cincinnati's career leader in interceptions (14) as well as interception return yards (296). He was named an All-American in 2007 and 2008 and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Additionally Mickens was named All-Big East three times during his career, once on the first team and twice on the second team.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Mickens is a graduate of Wayne High School where he was a two-time All-Greater Western Ohio Conference cornerback and helped the Warriors to a 24-9 record as well as two league titles during his three seasons. He recorded 205 tackles, 10 interceptions and returned a kickoff for a touchdown and won the Ohio State 300-meter hurdles championship as a junior.

 He earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Cincinnati in 2011.


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