James P. Tressel became the ninth president of Youngstown State University in 2014. A native of Northeast Ohio, Tressel graduated from Berea High School in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Education from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1975 and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Akron in 1977. He also holds honorary degrees from YSU and Baldwin-Wallace.
He came to YSU in 1986 as head football coach. In 15 years, including six as executive director of Intercollegiate Athletics, YSU appeared in the playoffs 10 times and won four national championships. In January 2001, Tressel left YSU to become head football coach at Ohio State University. In 10 seasons, he guided the Buckeyes to the 2002 National Championship and seven Big Ten Championships.
Among his many honors: Chevrolet National Coach of the Year, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year, the Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year, and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year. He was inducted into Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015. At YSU, he received the Heritage Award in 2008 and was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013. He was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.
He has published two books, has given hundreds of presentations and lectures across the country, and has had extensive involvement in fund raising and philanthropy.
Tressel’s wife, Ellen, is a YSU graduate and an accomplished businesswoman and philanthropist who remains engaged in charitable causes and community organizations in Youngstown, Columbus and Akron. They are the proud parents of four accomplished adults: Zak, Carlee, Eric and Whitney. Their grandson, Jonathan James, and granddaughter, Rose Marie Alson, are the apples of their eyes.
President Tressel can be followed on twitter, @JimTressel5