Due to his even-keeled temperament, Jim Tressel came to be known as 'The Senator' during his tenure as Ohio State football's head coach.
Now Ohio Republicans are hoping to bring that nickname to life.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, top Ohio Republicans are eyeing the former Buckeyes head coach and current Youngstown State president for a 2018 senate run. The party is currently looking for a new consensus candidate to challenge Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown after Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel's unexpected departure from the race.
According to the Examiner, citing two Republicans, Tressel has yet to reciprocate interest with the GOP. He is currently finishing his fourth full year as the president at YSU after taking over the post in 2014.
That, however, hasn't stopped Republicans from attempting to recruit the Mentor native and Berea High School graduate.
"Obviously, he's had the opportunity now to run some universities, so he's certainly got football team management and now university management under his belt. He's obviously a great campaigner because you've got to work hard to recruit young talent against everybody else," Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, told the Examiner. "Tressel's certainly an interesting idea."
Tressel, who has donated to the Republican National Committee and candidates in the past, would have mass appeal across the Buckeye State following his decade running Ohio State's football program. From 2001-2010, Tressel amassed a 106-22 record with the Buckeyes, winning six Big Ten championships and the 2002 national title.
Should he opt to run, Tressel would have until Feb. 7 to meet Ohio's filing deadline. Right now, there is no indication that he will -- but that won't stop the Republican party from trying.
"He would be awesome, and he could win — but I'm not sure he would do it," one GOP operative told the Examiner. "There's no one better we could get. He'd be a star."