YSU Board of Trustees names James P. Tressel president

James P. Tressel

James P. Tressel

The Youngstown State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to offer the position of president to James P. Tressel, executive vice president for Student Success at the University of Akron.

Trustees authorized board Chair Sudershan Garg and Vice Chair John Jakubek to negotiate and execute an employment contract with Tressel. Garg emphasized that the appointment is not final until contract terms can be reached.

Tressel, former head football coach at YSU as well as Ohio State University, would become YSU’s ninth president, succeeding Randy J. Dunn, who resigned in March to become president of Southern Illinois University.

The board voted to offer the position to Tressel after a national search. Tressel and two other finalists for the position visited campus this week. The board met in closed, executive session this morning and then convened publicly to vote to offer Tressel the position.

“After fully examining each and every candidate and reviewing the input from hundreds of individuals across the campus and the community, the Board of Trustees believes Mr. Tressel is the right individual at the right time to lead Youngstown State University,” Garg said. “Mr. Tressel has the personality and leadership skills, in addition to widespread community support, to dramatically raise YSU’s profile and prominence across Ohio and the nation.”

Tressel, who grew up in northeast Ohio and graduated from Berea High School in 1971, became vice president for Strategic Engagement at the University of Akron in May 2012 and was promoted to executive vice president for Student Success in December 2013.

He previously was head football coach at Ohio State between 2001 and 2010, where his teams won the national championship in 2002 and Big Ten championships in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. As head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000, Tressel’s teams won four Division I-AA national championships. He also was executive director of Athletics at YSU from 1994 to 2000. Prior to YSU, Tressel was an assistant football coach at Ohio State, Syracuse University, Miami University of Ohio and the University of Akron.

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 has published two books: “The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life” (2008) and “Life Promises for Success” (2011).

Tressel has a long list of awards, including the American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 1991, 1994 and 2002, the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2002, the Paul “Bear” Bryant National Coach of the Year in 2002 and the Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2002. At YSU, he received the Heritage Award in 2008 and was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

He has given dozens of presentations and lectures across the country, from the Goodyear Intellectual Seminar, the Knoxville Tennessee Club and the Nike National Clinic to the Worthington Industries National Convention, Smucker Company Leadership Program and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Tressel’s extensive involvement in fundraising and philanthropy includes participation in YSU campaigns for the Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the expansion of Stambaugh Stadium and the Watson and Tressel Training Site. In 2007, Frank and Norma Watson and Jim and Ellen Tressel donated a combined $1 million to the YSU Centennial Campaign to help fund the WATTS.

Read Tressel’s full vitae at http://web.ysu.edu/gen/ysu_generated_bin/documents/basic_module/Tressel_James.pdf


Youngstown State University is a comprehensive urban research university that offers nearly 13,500 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. The 145-acre campus includes high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art labs and performance facilities, a variety of on-campus housing options and recreational facilities among the best in the nation. The university’s 18 athletics teams, including the four-time national champion football team, compete on the Division I NCAA level. For more information, visit www.ysu.edu.