YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Saturday was Jim Tressel’s last day as Youngstown State University’s president, ending a run with the university that spanned over 23 of the last 37 years.
Youngstown was introduced to a confident 33-year-old Jim Tressel on Saturday, Dec. 20, 1985, when the announcement was made that he would be Youngstown State’s next football coach.
His first season, Tressel was 2-and-9, and the coach was concerned about the fans.
But in the second season, Tressel’s Penguins made the Division 1 AA Playoffs. By his sixth season in 1991, YSU made it to the national championships.
YSU would win three more national championships in the following years: 1993, 1994 and 1997.
In 1994, the seniors were national champs again.
The fourth national championship in 1997 would be the last time Penguin fans would fill the airport terminal for a welcome home celebration.
In his 15 seasons, Tressel won four national championships and won 70% of his games. Then came Jan. 18, 2001.
Tressel coached 10 seasons at Ohio State, playing in three national championship games and winning six Big Ten titles before resigning in May 2011 over improper benefits given to players.
After brief jobs with the Indianapolis Colts and the University of Akron, on May 12, 2014, Tressel returned to Youngstown State — this time as president.
In his first year as coach, he made $44,000 a year. This contract was for $300,000 a year.
In his eight and half years as YSU’s president, he did all of those and more. He added 1,000 new housing units, helped raise $150 million and cut the ribbon on the Excellence Training Center.
Then, on June 22, 2022, Tressel announced his resignation.