Jim Tressel: Wikis


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Jim Tressel
Tressel at the 2009 Fiesta Bowl
Title Head coach
College Ohio State
Sport Football
Conference Big Ten
Team record 94–21
Born December 5, 1952 (1952-12-05) (age 57)
Place of birth Mentor, Ohio
Career highlights
Overall 229–78–2
Bowls 5–4
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
1 Division I-A (2002)
4 Division I-AA (1991, 1993-1994, 1997)
6 Big Ten (2002, 2005-2009)
12 coach of the year awards (see awards below)
Playing career
1971–1974 Baldwin-Wallace
Position Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
University of Akron (grad.)
Miami of Ohio (QB/WR)
Syracuse (QB)
Ohio State (QB/WR)
Ohio State (QB/RB/WR) Youngstown State
Ohio State

James Patrick Tressel (born December 5, 1952) is the head football coach at Ohio State University. He was hired before the 2001 season to replace John Cooper. Since becoming Ohio State's 22nd head football coach, Tressel's teams have played in three BCS National Championship Games. His 2002 squad won a national title and achieved the first 14–0 season record in major college football since Penn went 15–0 in 1897.[1] Tressel has an overall record of 94–21 at Ohio State, including six Big Ten Conference championships, a 5–4 bowl record, a 4–3 mark in BCS bowl games, and an 8–1 record against the arch-rival Michigan Wolverines. Tressel's eight wins against Michigan place him second in school history to Woody Hayes, who had 16. He is the only Ohio State head coach to win six consecutive games against the Wolverines. Before coming to Ohio State, Tressel was the head football coach at Youngstown State University for 15 seasons (1986–2000), where his teams won four NCAA Division I-AA Football Championships.


Early life

Jim Tressel was born in Mentor, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, on December 5, 1952. His father, Lee Tressel, who hails from Ada, Ohio, was the coach at Mentor's high school; after a 34-game winning streak, Lee was hired as head football coach for Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, located in suburban Cleveland. B-W would go on to win the 1978 NCAA Division III National Championship under Lee Tressel. Jim attended many of his father's games and practices; he also developed a friendship with neighbor (and Cleveland Browns legend) Lou Groza—who, like Lee Tressel, had attended Ohio State and continued to be a fan. His mother Eloise Tressel worked as the Athletic Historian at Baldwin-Wallace College during Lee's time as head coach.

After graduating from Berea High School in 1971, Jim played quarterback under his father at Baldwin-Wallace. As quarterback, he earned four varsity letters and won all-conference honors as a senior in 1974. The next year, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in education.


Jim and his wife Ellen, a Youngstown State graduate, are actively involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Athletes in Action, the OSU Thompson Libraries and the Ohio State University Medical Center, particularly the James Cancer Center. They have four children: Zak, Carlee, Eric, and Whitney and currently live in Upper Arlington.

Coaching career


Early positions

After graduating, Tressel became a Graduate Assistant at the University of Akron. He worked there coaching the quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs, while earning his master's degree in education. In 1978, he left to become quarterbacks and receivers coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. By 1981, he had left to become the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse. In 1983, he was hired at Ohio State to be the quarterbacks and receivers coach. That year, OSU had a 9–3 record, including a 28–23 victory over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl; a 39-yard pass from quarterback Mike Tomczak to wide receiver Thad Jemison clinched the win with 39 seconds remaining in the game. In 1984, he was given the added responsibility of coaching the running backs. That year, the team became Big Ten champs, played in the Rose Bowl, and tailback Keith Byars finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. In 1985, OSU defeated BYU in the Citrus Bowl.

Youngstown State University

At the end of the 1985 season, Jim Tressel left OSU to become head coach at Youngstown State University. In Tressel's first season as coach, Youngstown State finished with a 2–9 record. In his second season, Youngstown State finished the season with an 8–4 record and won the Ohio Valley Conference championship. From 1989–1994, Youngstown State would play in the Division I-AA National Championship game four times. In 1991, Tressel won his first National Championship, defeating Marshall; the victory made him and his father the only father-son duo to win National Championships in College Football.

YSU won two more National Championships in the following three years: against Marshall in 1993 (who had defeated them in 1992) and Boise State in 1994. 1997 brought Tressel his fourth National Championship with a 10–9 victory against McNeese State. He earned his 100th win against Indiana State. 1999 marked Tressel's ninth visit to the Division I-AA playoffs, but the team lost to a Paul Johnson coached Georgia Southern in the title game. 2000 presented Tressel with more success, leading Youngstown State to a 9–3 season and its 10th playoff appearance. During the 1990s, Youngstown State had a record of 103–27–2, the most wins by any Division I-AA team and fourth most of both Division I-A and I-AA combined.[citation needed] Tressel's overall record at Youngstown was 135–57–2. He was also named Division I-AA Coach of the Year in ’91, ’93, ’94 and ’97.[2]

Ohio State University

Jim Tressel and team at halftime of the 2006 game at Texas.

After firing head coach John Cooper following a loss to unranked South Carolina in the 2001 Outback Bowl, the Buckeyes were looking for a new head coach to revive the program. After a lengthy search, Ohio State chose Tressel to replace Cooper as head football coach. While addressing Ohio State students during a ceremony introducing him as head coach, Tressel declared, "I can assure you that you will be proud of your young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field,"[3] an apparent reference to the Buckeyes' struggles against archrival Michigan under Cooper.

Tressel has coached the Buckeyes to two 19-game winning streaks, one in the 2002–2003 season and the other in 2005–2006. Tressel's winning percentage at Ohio State of 81.6% is the second best in school history, behind only Carroll Widdoes' 16-2 (88.9%) mark in the 1944–1945 seasons.[4]

As Ohio State's head coach, Tressel is known for a conservative style of play calling, winning games with just enough scoring, strong defense, and "playing field position."[5] Tressel often refers to the punt as the most important play in football.[6] In most interviews, he credits the seniors on the team, foregoing praise for his younger players, in an attempt to promote those who have dedicated themselves to the Ohio State University football program for a number of years. He is sometimes referred to as "The Senator" (most notably by ESPN's Chris Fowler), because of his composure on the sidelines during play and his diplomatic way of interacting with representatives from the media.[7] He is also often referred to as "The Vest" for his penchant for wearing a sweater vest on the sidelines.[8]

With his 5 national championships, Tressel is one of only two active coaches with 5 or more national championships in any division[citation needed] (only Larry Kehres of Division III Mount Union College has more with 10). His four national championships at Youngstown State University gave him the distinction of being a part of the only father–son coaching combination to win a national championship[9] (his father, Lee Tressel, won a Division III title at Baldwin-Wallace College in 1978). During Tressel's first year, Ohio State had a 7–5 record. Ohio State returned to the Outback Bowl, where the Buckeyes once again fell to South Carolina. Although the Buckeyes lost on a last minute field goal, the team battled back to tie the game at 28-28 after being down 28-0.[10] Despite a second consecutive bowl loss and a 5-loss season, Tressel had coached the Buckeyes to a 26–20 upset victory over Michigan, fulfilling the promise he had made 10 months earlier.

The following year Tressel and the Buckeyes became the first team in college football history to finish 14–0, defeating the heavily favored University of Miami Hurricanes in double overtime to win the 2003 Fiesta Bowl and the 2002 National Championship. It was Ohio State's first national championship in 34 years. That success made him the first coach in NCAA history to win the AFCA's Coach of the Year award while at different schools; he is also the first to win the award in two different divisions.[11]

They were able to earn the national championship through close wins on a defensive-minded scheme that relied on field position. With a combination of senior leadership with Michael Doss and freshman Maurice Clarett, Tressel was able to pull out many close games during the season. Seven of their 14 victories were within 7 points including one overtime game against Illinois, and a double overtime game coming in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl.[12] His playcalling style of tough defense, conservative ball-control offense, and field position was dubbed "Tresselball" by the media.[13]

Coming off the national title season, the Buckeyes earned an 11–2 record in 2003, but the team lost to Michigan in the 100th meeting between the two teams 35–21. It is the only time one of Tressel's teams has not beaten the Wolverines. The Buckeyes finished the 2003 season with a 35–28 victory over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2004. In 2004, the team finished 8–4, closing out the season with a 33–7 victory against Oklahoma State at the Alamo Bowl and upsetting Michigan in the annual rivalry game. Ohio State was unranked and Michigan was ranked 7th and the final score was 37 to 21. During 2005, the Buckeyes had a 10–2 record which featured an early season loss to eventual BCS National Champion Texas and another in Happy Valley versus Penn State, who finished the season ranked third in the BCS. However, the season ended with the Buckeyes defeating Notre Dame 34–20 in the Fiesta Bowl. The 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes football team went undefeated in the regular season—including a 42–39 victory over Michigan which saw the first ever meeting between the two teams ranking numbers 1 and 2, respectively, in the national polls.[14] Ohio State finished second in the final AP and Coaches polls after losing the 2007 BCS National Championship Game to the University of Florida, 41–14. In the 2007 season Jim Tressel led the 11–1 Buckeyes to a third consecutive Big Ten Championship and second consecutive National Championship berth, played January 7, 2008 against the LSU Tigers, in the Superdome. However OSU was beaten 38–24 by LSU, becoming only the second team to lose two consecutive BCS title games (the first being the University of Oklahoma).[15] In 2008 Ohio State won their fourth straight Big Ten title and played Texas in the Fiesta Bowl, coming back from an 11 point second half deficit to take the lead with just over 2 minutes to play, only to lose when Texas scored with 16 seconds remaining. The 2009 team won its fifth straight conference title and earned a birth in the Rose Bowl against Oregon, winning the game 26-17.

In March of 2010, Tressel gave the first interview ever granted by a Division I football coach to a gay-themed publication, Outlook Columbus, declaring he would welcome openly gay students on his football team. "We try to tell our guys that an authentic you is the best you," Tressel told the magazine. "That's truly what freedom means, and the beauty of living in America. People can live their beliefs."[16]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Youngstown State Penguins (Ohio Valley Conference) (1986–1987)
1986 Youngstown State 2–9 2–5 7th
1987 Youngstown State 8–4 5–1 T-1st I-AA Playoffs First Round
Youngstown State Penguins (Division I-AA Independent) (1988–1996)
1988 Youngstown State 4–7
1989 Youngstown State 9–4 I-AA Playoffs Second Round
1990 Youngstown State 11–1 I-AA Playoffs First Round
1991 Youngstown State 12–3 W I-AA Championship
1992 Youngstown State 11–3–1 I-AA Playoffs Runner-Up
1993 Youngstown State 13–2 W I-AA Championship
1994 Youngstown State 14–0–1 W I-AA Championship
1995 Youngstown State 3–8
1996 Youngstown State 8–3
Youngstown State Penguins (Gateway Football Conference) (1997–2000)
1997 Youngstown State 13–2 4–2 3rd W I-AA Championship
1998 Youngstown State 6–5 3–3 T-3rd
1999 Youngstown State 12–3 5–1 2nd I-AA Playoffs Runner-Up
2000 Youngstown State 9–3 4–2 T-2nd I-AA Playoffs First Round
Youngstown State: 135–57–2 23–14
Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten Conference) (2001–present)
2001 Ohio State 7–5 5–3 3rd L Outback
2002 Ohio State 14–0 8–0 T-1st W Fiesta 1 1
2003 Ohio State 11–2 6–2 2nd W Fiesta 4 4
2004 Ohio State 8–4 4–4 5th W Alamo 19 20
2005 Ohio State 10–2 7–1 T-1st W Fiesta 4 4
2006 Ohio State 12–1 8–0 1st L BCS NCG 2 2
2007 Ohio State 11–2 7–1 1st L BCS NCG 4 5
2008 Ohio State 10–3 7–1 T-1st L Fiesta 11 9
2009 Ohio State 11–2 7–1 1st W Rose 5 5
Ohio State: 94–21 59–13
Total: 229–78–2
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.

Sources: [17][18]

Awards and honors


  1. ^ "Cougars deserve to celebrate - College Football/Insider - Brigham Young University football team". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1208/is_48_225/ai_80680611. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  2. ^ "Jim Tressel Biography". http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=87747&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300&ATCLID=1059367&Q_SEASON=2007. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Tressel eyes finally bucking the Wolverines". http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2001/07/23/Sports/Tressel.Eyes.Finally.Bucking.The.Wolverines-1408404.shtml. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  4. ^ "Year-By-Year Coaching Records (page 108)". http://ohiostatebuckeyes.com/fls/17300/pdf/fb/guide/08_Spring_p100to129.pdf?SPSID=87751&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  5. ^ "Ohio State football: Help make the pick". http://blog.cleveland.com/sports/2007/09/ohio_state_football_help_make.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  6. ^ "Buckeyes buy Tressel's special teams message". http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls06/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=2722614. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  7. ^ "Tressel wows crowd of Ohio lawmakers". http://cantonrep.com/printable.php?ID=403280. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  8. ^ "Tressel, Ohio State made for each other". http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls07/columns/story?id=3178400. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  9. ^ "The Two Sides of Jim Tressel". http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/03/sports/ncaafootball/03tressel.html?pagewanted=2&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Organizations/U/University%20of%20Florida. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  10. ^ "Game Summary - January 1, 2002". http://www.outbackbowl.com/facts/game02.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Carroll's (Mont.) Mike Van Diest Wins 2007 AFCA Coach of the Year". http://naia.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/011008aaa.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  12. ^ "Football - 2002 Schedule & Results". http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/SportSelect.dbml?SPSID=87745&SPID=10408&DB_OEM_ID=17300&KEY=&Q_SEASON=2002. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  13. ^ "Tresselball just keeps winning". http://proxy.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=1662661. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  14. ^ "Finally, No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 Michigan Is A Reality". http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/stories/111106aem.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  15. ^ "Buckeyes Again Fall Short In Title Game". http://ohiostate.scout.com/2/717959.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  16. ^ "Jim Tressel Would Embrace an Openly Gay Buckeye". http://backporch.fanhouse.com/2010/03/08/jim-tressel-would-embrace-an-openly-gay-buckeye/. Retrieved 20010-03-08. 
  17. ^ "Missouri Valley Football Conference Year-by-Year Standings". http://www.mvc.org/football/standings.pdf?SPSID=39013&SPID=2899&DB_OEM_ID=7600. 
  18. ^ "ALL-TIME OVC YEAR-BY-YEAR FINAL STANDINGS". http://www.ovcsports.com/pdf1/79753.pdf?ATCLID=879709&SPID=2441&DB_OEM_ID=6200&SPSID=31021. 
  19. ^ http://www.bw.edu/alumni/HallofFame/inductees/
  20. ^ http://www.bw.edu//athletics/fb/info/tresselfield/index.html

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bill Narduzzi
Youngstown State Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Jon Heacock
Preceded by
John Cooper
Ohio State Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Larry Coker
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award
Succeeded by
Nick Saban


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