Fri, 8:10 p.m.: Tressel applies for YSU job

YOUNGSTOWN — Jim Tressel has officially applied to become Youngstown State University’s ninth president.

According to Youngstown State University Director of University Communications Ron Cole, the former YSU and Ohio State football coach applied for the position within the last 24 hours.

Monday is the application deadline.

The university is looking to replace Dr. Randy Dunn, who announced in February that he was leaving after just seven months on the job. Dunn is going to be president at the University of Southern Illinois.

Tressel has worked served as executive vice president for student success at the University of Akron since 2012, and applied for that university’s presidency in March. In a comment released by the University of Akron, Tressel praised both universities but declined to go into detail about his interest in either position.

“I am respectful of the presidential search process under way at both Youngstown State University and The University of Akron,” Tressel said. “Both University communities are a very meaningful part of my professional history. I feel grateful that people from both University communities have expressed interest in my application. I believe it’s appropriate that I not comment any further during this part of the process.”

YSU trustee Harry Meshel said the trustees were informed of Tressel’s application Friday afternoon by AGB Search, the Washington-based firm hired to manage the university’s search process.

“We were notified today along with a group of other applications that (Tressel) had applied for the position,” Meshel said. “Around a week or so, we had received 13 applications, so (Tressel’s) and some more have come in, and we’re not sure how many more to expect by Monday’s deadline.”

Meshel said that it was his understanding Tressel’s interest in the position was partially sparked by an area outpouring of support.

“Like so many other applicants, Jim called around to (gauge support), and the terrific support in the area for Jim really made him feel like he should apply,” Meshel said.

Meshel said the trustees will place a high priority on leadership and candidates with “a strong educational background and an interest in what universities are all about” when they begin the hiring process next week.

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda was among the area leaders who supported Tressel’s hiring and said he hopes the university will bring a quick end to the hiring process.

“Im happy to hear that he has applied, because I think that he would be a real positive for Youngstown State and for the area,” Fuda said. “I hope that (the university) makes the right decision and gives him an offer very quickly.”

Tressel holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Akron and a bachelor’s degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace College. He served as YSU’s head football coach from 1986 to 2000, the last six years of which he also served as director of athletics. He won four NCAA Division 1AA National Championships at YSU. In 2001, he became head football coach for The Ohio State University, filling that role for 10 years, and winning the Bowl Championship Series National Championship in 2002.