Jim Tressel named 'vice president for strategic engagement' at University of Akron

AKRON, Ohio - Former Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel will serve as an administrator at the University of Akron, the school announced Thursday.

Tressel's new title is "vice president for strategic engagement."

The announcement was made by U. of Akron President Luis Proenza during a news conference on campus at 10 a.m. Tressel, a northeast Ohio native, did not wear his typical sweater vest to the event -- and he was sporting a yellow tie with kangaroos on it.

"It's always important where you are and to come back to the place that gave you your first chance," said Tressel during the news conference.

"I think you have to really reflect on what's important to you. My intentions have always been to help young people," he said. "I'll be coaching every day. Coaching is serving. That's not out of my blood. Out on the field, that's probably out of it."

Tressel said his commitment is to the University of Akron.

"I'm gonna work as if this is the last place I'm ever going to work," Tressel said.

The school told NewsChannel5 Tressel will make about $200,000 per year. He starts May 1.  During his last year at Ohio State, Tressel made $3.5 million.

NewsChannel5 Sports Director Andy Baskin first reported Wednesday that sources told him Tressel is taking a non-athletic role at the school, possibly as an administrator like a vice president.

Tressel was forced to resign as coach of Ohio State's football team last May amid a scandal that involved an NCAA investigation into rules violations.   He failed to report to his bosses when he learned players were trading memorabilia for cash and tattoos.

The NCAA levied a 5-year "show cause" penalty against Tressel, making it very difficult for him to coach again in the college ranks.

During the news conference, Tressel said, "The thing that shapes anyone the most is adversity."

However, Tressel said he received thousands of letters and e-mails in support of him.

Asked about the difficulty of the past year, Tressel's wife, Ellen, said, "You learn and you grow and hopefully you get a chance to refocus your dynamics and your attention in areas that are more positive."

Tressel met with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay about the team's head coaching position but didn't get the job.

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