Exclusive: Tressel reacts to effort to name him YSU president - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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21 News Exclusive: Tressel reacts to effort to name him YSU president

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AKRON, Ohio - Jim Tressel says he's happy with his current position at the University of Akron.

That's about all the former Youngstown State University and Ohio State Buckeyes football coach had to say to WFMJ Weekend Today anchor Derek Steyer when asked about a campaign led by Valley Congressman Tim Ryan to support Tressel as a candidate to be the next YSU President. 

Ryan's staff hand-delivered a letter to YSU trustees on Wednesday, asking them to consider the former Ohio State football coach for the university's top spot. 

21 News reported exclusively Tuesday night that the letter is expected to be signed by a list of community leaders including Phantom Fireworks owner Bruce Zoldan.

21 News Reporter Lindsay McCoy spoke to Zoldan Wednesday.  Zoldan says as a friend, he can say that Tressel would be very honored if the trustees would consider him. He wants the university to expedite its selection process, as he fears the U of A may also engage Tressel in a similar offer.

"Under the present circumstances that we're in, it would border on criminal to allow Akron to get this very talented man instead of Youngstown State University," Zoldan says.

Congressman Ryan says Tressel is a proven winner on and off the field, especially when it comes to fundraising.

"I think that's significant, I mean, you need fundraising, you need money to be able to invest in academic programs," Ryan says. 

The movement to support Tressel comes on the heels of the announcement that current Youngstown State President Randy Dunn will step aside in August after only seven months on the job.  Dunn has accepted the position of President of Southern Illinois University.

Tressel is currently the Executive Vice President for Student Success at the University of Akron, a position he has held since May of 2012.  See bio by clicking on this link

Several of the other well known Valley business and community leaders supporting Tressel include Anthony Saadey, Anthony Cafaro, Ed Muransky, Tony Cafaro, Sam Covelli, Denise DeBartolo-York, Tom Humphries, Glenn Johnson, John Masternick, Eric Ryan, Diane Sauer and Doug Sweeney, among others.

This is a developing story that we're covering on several fronts.  Check back for updates and stay tuned to 21 News for further developments.

Read the Congressman's letter in its entirety below:


Dear Board Member,

As long time supporters of Youngstown State University, we are writing to offer our full and unequivocal support behind Jim Tressel to be the next President of Youngstown State University. We hope that the Board considers moving expeditiously to make this happen. We all have known Jim personally for many years and strongly believe that he will bring all of the skill and experience needed to lead Youngstown State University forward. He understands the importance of YSU's relationship to the cities of Youngstown, Warren, our surrounding communities, America Makes, the Youngstown Business Incubator and the role of STEM in our future economic initiatives. He knows the importance of university collaborations with the private sector and local workforce. And he has the relationships and obvious leadership skills to build both the financial and organizational support for the YSU initiatives that will grow the University and broader economy.

Given the current circumstance, we hope you would consider making an offer quickly so that we can move forward and build upon the great progress that has been made in the Mahoning Valley. The world is a very dynamic and complicated place today, but the most important indicator of the success of any institution today is leadership. If an institution has strong, visionary and resilient leadership, it will succeed. We believe Jim Tressel will provide that kind of leadership and take YSU and the Mahoning Valley to the next level.

I have been in communications with the following community leaders and they have agreed to lend their support to this effort.

Mike Broderick
Mike Bruno
Tony Cafaro
Don Constantini
Sam Covelli
Don Crane
Denise DeBartolo-York
Mike Garvey
Presley Gillespie
Tom Humphries
Dave Johnson
Glenn Johnson
Ron Klingle
Dr. Chander Kohli, MD
John Masternick
Robert Morales
Ed Muransky
Bill Padisak
John Perdue
Carol Potter
Eric Ryan
Anthony Saadey
Diane Sauer
Rick Schiraldi
Bob Sebo
Eric Spiegel
Gary Steinbeck
Doug Sweeney
Herb Washington
Bruce Zoldan
Ron Jaworski (agreed to sign after the letter was sent)

Go Penguins!
Sincerely,
Tim Ryan

 

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