Jim Tressel named finalist for University of Akron presidency

Former Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel is in the mix for two Ohio university presidency openings.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel is one step closer to becoming a university president.

Tressel is one of three finalists for the University of Akron’s presidency, according to multiple reports. He was originally among 19 men and women being considered for the position, which sitting president Luis Proenza exits on June 15.

The other two candidates are said to be Ronald A. Nykiel, provost of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Scott L. Scarborough, provost of the University of Toledo.

All three finalists will meet with administration, faculty, students and the public. Tressel, who currently serves as the university’s executive vice president of student success, will have an open forum Thursday from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the UA Student Union Theatre, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.


In his application for the Akron gig, Tressel accentuates the value of already being in-house, writing: "With great reverence to Dr. Proenza’s impressive legacy, the University finds itself at a crossroads that a newcomer may not be able to competitively navigate. It is my opinion that we need more than a leader who can ‘hit the ground running.’ Rather, the University would be better served by a leader who has been ‘on the ground’ running with the current team."

The 61-year-old Tressel has also submitted an application for the presidency at Youngstown State University, where he spent 15 years as head football coach.

"I am respectful of the presidential search process underway at both Youngstown State University and The University of Akron. 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," Tressel said in a statement on April 11.