Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel has accepted a new job. He will be moving to Akron and taking a position at the University of Akron — not as a football coach, but as the Vice President for Strategic Engagement.
I’m happy for Mr. Tressel (although I will always think of him as Coach Tressel) and I have no doubt that he will do a good job for one of Ohio’s largest universities. The NCAA “tattoogate” scandal that led to his resignation as Ohio State’s coach involved some unfortunate lapses in judgment on his part, but it shouldn’t mask his accomplishments with the Buckeyes. Tressel not only took a moribund football program and quickly turned it into a powerhouse, he also made tremendous progress in the academic performance of his student-athletes.
I still respect Tressel’s efforts and achievements, even if I regret his missteps at the end of his tenure at Ohio State. I suspect I’m not alone in that regard, and that many Ohioans will be interested in meeting with Tressel and hearing his ideas for the future of the University of Akron. He’s an intelligent, hard working individual who dedicates himself to his job, and I’m sure he will bring those attributes to his new position.
I know one person who is thrilled to have Tressel in Akron: Buckeye Bebe, who always has been one of his biggest supporters. Aunt Bebe will be very happy to share the air of the Rubber City with the man who led the Buckeyes for so many years. Who knows? Perhaps they can meet and talk about football — or even strategic engagement.