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Jim Tressel to depart as Youngstown State University president in February 2023

The 69-year-old native of Northeast Ohio and former Ohio State football coach has been the president at Youngstown State since 2014.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University has announced that Jim Tressel will step down as president effective on February 1, 2023.

“It has been truly a blessing and labor of love to serve Youngstown State University,” Tressel wrote in an email to the campus community after announcing his decision on Wednesday during YSU Board of Trustee committee meetings.

The 69-year-old native of Northeast Ohio has been the president at Youngstown State since 2014. His relationship with YSU dates back to 1986, when he was named the head coach of the Penguins football team. In 15 seasons, Tressel lead YSU to four national championships.

In 2001, Tressel left Youngstown State to become head football coach at Ohio State. He would lead the Buckeyes to the national championship the following year, plus seven Big Ten titles in his ten seasons. He resigned in 2011 following a memorabilia-for-cash scandal involving five Buckeye players.

“I cannot thank my family enough for allowing my schedule, and the needs of our university, to take priority and center stage,” Tressel added in his email. “It is now only fair to have Ellen, our wonderful children and grandchildren, extended family, friends and former students, set the schedule.”

Tressel plans “to work seven days a week for the next seven months” until his departure. YSU Board Chair John Jakubek says details regarding a plan to identify Tressel’s successor will be released as they become available.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued the following statement Thursday morning: 

Jim Tressel is often referred to as a champion, and he has embodied that term in his leadership as President of Youngstown State University. Not only has he championed the cause of YSU, but he has been a champion for the Mahoning Valley, a champion for investing in Ohio’s workforce and furthering economic development through university partnerships, and a champion for higher education across Ohio. Youngstown State has always been an important asset to the Mahoning Valley, and President’s Tressel’s work during his tenure has only solidified its importance. President Tressel will be deeply missed at YSU. Fran and I extend our best wishes to Jim and Ellen and their family, as well as thanks for a job well done.

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