One day after being removed as a candidate for the presidency of the University of Akron, Jim Tressel has been chosen to lead another school. The former Ohio State head football coach has been selected as the next president of Youngstown State University, the school's board of trustees announced on Friday.
Tressel, also the former head football coach at Youngstown State from 1986-2000, is the current executive vice president for student success at Akron. Tressel was one of three finalists vying for the presidency at Akron, but Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel reported on Thursday that Akron did not select Tressel for the position.
Though Tressel's appointment will not become final until both parties agree to contract details, the Youngstown State board of trustees met on Friday morning and voted to offer Tressel the position. Board chair Sudershan Garg said Tressel met all criteria to lead the university in the right direction.
“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,” Garg said. “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.”
In a statement on Friday afternoon, Tressel thanked Youngstown State for the opportunity.
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.Tressel left his role as Youngstown State's head coach before the 2001 season, when he took the reins at Ohio State. Tressel resigned from his position with the Buckeyes in May '11 after a pattern of NCAA violations. Since landing at Akron, he also taught a class, “Principles of Coaching,” alongside another professor. SI.com's Martin Rickman attended a session of the class last September.
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.