Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel announced that he plans to step down as president of Youngstown State University on Feb. 1, 2023, after serving in the role since 2014. Tressel, 69, made a successful transition to academia after his resignation from Ohio State amid the “Tattoogate” scandal prior to the 2011 season.
“It is with an abundance of gratitude and thankfulness that Ellen and I plan to step aside as President and First Lady of our beloved YSU, effective February 1, 2023,” Tressel wrote in an email to the Youngstown State community. “It has been truly a blessing and labor of love to serve Youngstown State University in a number of capacities, and we will continue to do so, in whatever fashion that the YSU Board of Trustees sees fit.”
In 10 seasons with the Buckeyes, Tressel won a national championship and coached in two others. At the time of his resignation from Ohio State, Tressel was caught up in an NCAA violations case alleging that some of his players, including quarterback Terrelle Pryor, accepted impermissible benefits for selling memorabilia. Initially, Tressel was to be suspended for a portion of the 2011 season, but he eventually resigned and received a five-year show-cause from the NCAA.
The show-cause penalty would have made a return to coaching at an NCAA institution difficult for Tressel, but he had a longstanding connection to Youngstown State and became the school’s president after a short tenure as an executive vice president at Akron. Prior to his 10-year run as Ohio State’s coach, he spent 15 seasons as YSU’s coach, amassing a 135-57 record and capturing four Division I FCS national titles.
In the university’s announcement of his upcoming retirement, Tressel said he is proud of Youngstown State’s improving graduation rates, fundraising efforts and campus transformation. As a northeast Ohio native, Tressel spent nearly his entire coaching and academic career in the state.
“The YSU Board of Trustees extends our deepest gratitude and appreciation to President Tressel and First Lady Ellen for their decades of service to Youngstown State University, the Mahoning Valley region and the entire state of Ohio,” YSU board chair John Jakubek said. “The Tressels’ contributions of time and treasure are immeasurable and will be felt across the region for years and years to come. We wish them well.”