Jim Tressel has been offered the president's job at Youngstown State University, the school announced Friday morning.
Tressel, of course, is the former Youngstown State and Ohio State head coach. He compiled a 106-22 overall record with a total of five national championships, four at Youngstown and one at Ohio State.
According to a source close to the situation, Tressel picked the Youngstown State job over the same position at the University of Akron.
“After fully examining each and every candidate and reviewing the input from hundreds of individuals across the campus and the community, the Board of Trustees believes Mr. Tressel is the right individual at the right time to lead Youngstown State University,” said Youngstown State board Chair Sudershan Garg. “Mr. Tressel has the personality and leadership skills, in addition to widespread community support, to dramatically raise YSU’s profile and prominence across Ohio and the nation.”
Tressel was chosen by a unanimous vote.
Clearly lacking the academic career of the typical university president, Tressel's name recognition and leadership ability - which translates into fundraising skills - were unparalleled among Youngstown State's finalists. He was born in Mentor, Ohio, graduated from Barea High School, earned a bachelor's degree at Baldwin-Wallace College and a master's at the University of Akron. Following his departure from Ohio State, Tressel spent a year as a consultant with the Indianapolis Colts, and then took a job as the vice president of strategic engagement at Akron in 2012, and was promoted to executive vice president for student success in 2013. All told, Tressel has spent all but three years of his professional life (he coached quarterbacks at Syracuse from 1981-82 in addition to his year with the Colts) in the state of Ohio.
The appointment is not yet official; the two sides are said to be in contract negotiations as of this writing.
Sources close to Tressel maintain he would like to get back into coaching but, clearly, those plans appear to be on hold for the time being.
PM Update: Tressel released this statement Friday afternoon:
On behalf of Ellen and the entire Watson/Tressel Family, we would like to thank Dr. Garg and the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees for the confidence they have demonstrated in us by their actions today. We are honored and privileged to accept the board’s offer and we are humbled by this opportunity to return to the area and school that we deeply love. We look forward to working with the Board, the faculty, staff, students and the entire Mahoning Valley community to build on what has been more than a century of service and success at the university.
The outpouring and well wishes sent by former colleagues from YSU, The University of Akron, Miami (O), Syracuse University, Baldwin Wallace, and The Ohio State University has been overwhelming. It has been a healthy confirmation of the extraordinary importance of the academic mission and total student experience that is the responsibility of higher education, and most certainly those charged with the leadership of all universities in our nation.
We understand that the Board of Trustees has scheduled a meeting for Monday afternoon. Ellen and I plan to be on campus for that meeting. Until then, out of respect for the process, I will reserve any further comment, and we will celebrate the glory of commencement weekend for the wonderful graduates here at The University of Akron.