YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University has had four football coaches since Jim Tressel left the Penguins’ sideline.

Now, the university is preparing to replace him in the president’s office.

It will be another tough decision to find the right person.

“Being able to see the strengths of the people that work here and to put them in the best position to succeed,” said Ted Roberts, a YSU trustee.

Roberts was a trustee when Tressel was hired as president. Friday was his final meeting after nine years on the panel.

“So we need somebody with the same characteristics he had to carry this university forward,” said John Jakubek, another YSU trustee.

President Tressel left his mark in a number of ways, including a new look on Wick Avenue and Fifth Avenue, improved housing, a higher graduation rate and students with higher GPAs and test scores.

University officials say they want it to continue.

“President Tressel is a champion for student experience, student success,” continued Jakubek.

He also preached YSU doing what it can to keep the students it has.

Eight and a half years, he’s been like a coach in the university president’s office.

“The oversight or the vision to see that we need to make some changes, also his connection with people in getting their support, financial support for the university was outstanding. That was very unique,” continued Roberts.

YSU would like to capture that again. But Tressel seems ready to stick around and help.

“Because I don’t care how old you are, you can ask for money,” said Tressel.

Tressel has seven months left at YSU, and the university has seven months to find the person who will replace him.

Board Chair John Jakubek said details regarding a plan to identify Tressel’s successor will be released as they become available.