Former Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel paid a visit to John Carroll University on March 14 as part of the Cleveland Area College Consortium (CACC). Tressel spoke in the LSC Conference Room, talking to officials from JCU and other colleges in the area. The Carroll News was fortunate enough to speak with the well-known former Buckeyes coach on a variety of topics.
Few people know that Tressel actually interviewed for the JCU head coaching job in 1983, while he was an assistant at Ohio State University. He was offered the job, though he decided to return to his position under Earle Bruce at OSU, according to former JCU athletic director and head baseball coach Jerry Schweickert. Tressel had not been on the JCU campus since. He was impressed with the feel of the campus. “I had been here 30 years ago, which is a long time ago, and it’s transformed a great deal in the last 30 years,” the Baldwin Wallace alum said. “There’s a lot more residence halls now it seems like. Of course, the stadium and all that [too]…It’s a gorgeous campus. Anyone I’ve ever talked to who went here has loved their experience.”
The CACC was the reason for Tressel’s return to University Heights. He served as the keynote speaker for a seminar for administrators from nearby colleges as well as human resource professionals and local business leaders. Tressel attempted to bring together the group leaders to “partner to figure out what it is we can do at the colleges to best prepare the students to go out and be successful in our businesses,” he said. “You’re always looking to raise your talent level…so partnering is the only way you can do that.”
Named vice president of strategic engagement at Akron University in February of 2012, Tressel has been using his passion for helping young people every day in his job. He has worked with college administrators, business leaders, students and alumni to improve the Akron experience. Tressel loves his job thus far, and has particularly enjoyed working with the students. He has been so busy that he hasn’t thought about the fact that he has been out of coaching football for nearly two years. “I feel like I coach every day, it’s just in different ways,” Tressel said. “I probably had my most excitement and fun watching young people develop, not just on the field, but off. I feel like I’m getting to do that every day, so I really haven’t thought too much about coaching.”
As he has done in every other job, Tressel puts his heart and soul into his work. When asked if he has had any time to sit back and relax, Tressel said, “I haven’t had any time off, but I’ve been enjoying my time. My wife told me the other day that she thinks I’m working more hours than I did [as a coach], and I tell her that I used have 100 guys and now I have 28,000. It takes more time.”