Jim Tressel Named President of Youngstown State

By Kyle Rowland on May 9, 2014 at 8:45a

Jim Tressel has been selected as the next president of Youngstown State University.

The school’s board of trustees voted unanimously Friday morning to offer the position of president to Tressel, who was head football coach at Youngstown State from 1986-2000, winning four Division I-AA national championships.

Tressel, currently executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron, was a finalist for the top jobs at Youngstown State and Akron. Akron announced the hiring of Scott L. Scarborough Thursday.

“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,” Youngstown State trustee chairman Sudershan Garg said in a press release. “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.”

The former Ohio State head coach said earlier this week he would never coach again before revising his thinking saying, “Never is a long time, but I don’t foresee it right now.”

Tressel is viewed by many inside and outside academia as a questionable pick due to his ouster from Ohio State for lying to the NCAA and the absence of a Ph. D. from his degrees. His highest degree is a master's in education from the University of Akron. But fundraising is a major part of being a university president and Tressel is among the best in the country at raising money.

Speaking at a charity event in Toledo Wednesday with Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio, Tressel said, “I think working with kids is the most important thing. That’s why Mark works with the kids he does, that’s why all those years I coached the kids I coached and, now, I’m coaching 26,000. That’s why I said it’s more important, because it’s more kids.”

Mary Cullinan
, president of Southern Oregon University and Gary Miller, chancellor of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington were the other two finalists for the Youngstown State presidency. 

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