Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel has been serving as the executive vice president for students success at the University of Akron for the past two years, but apparently he has dreams of bigger things.
As we told you this past August when news came out that current Akron president Luis Proenza announced he'd be stepping down in the summer, Tressel has been rumored to be a potential candidate for this spot. Rumors no more.
Back in January Tressel submitted a letter suggesting he be named the interim president of the University citing they needed someone with "Decisive and focused leadership" to provide "the direction necessary to face the challenges" the school would face while looking for a permanent replacement.
A month later he changed tune and submitted his "enthusiastic application" for president, according to Cleveland.com.
Though he only holds a master's, and is going up against 18 candidates with doctorates from fields ranging from current administrators with Akron, to lawyers, doctors and presidents of other universities. Still Tressel is "confident" he should be given a serious shot, stating the University needs "a leader who has been 'on the ground' with the current team ..."
He even outlines a two-stage plan he would implement immediately if he were to be named president of UA. It involves making "tough, transparent decisions that may be disruptive to the status quo" in phase one and "developing more long-term priorities and plans in areas of academic quality" among other things in phase two.
Tressel, who holds a master's in education from Akron, class of 1977, and has worked at Akron for a total of five years of his life. Three years (1975-1978 as a graduate assistant with the Zips' football team and instructor of physical education, and as the executive vice president for student success since the spring of 2012.
He probably doesn't stand a kangaroos chance in a lion's den, but he should be given a shot. Sure, he may not know have the academic chops of his competitors, but you can't deny the brand power he gives to Akron. For all his flaws, he's also shown that when given the right resources he can succeed, granted this has been in football, but don't we always say that the leadership skills football teaches are transcendent? He is a leader, and even though sometimes his decisions have a leader have made negative impacts, who doesn't mess up in life from time to time?
If that screwball Gordon Gee, Tressel's former boss, can continue to get work as a president of a prestigious university after all his mishaps at OSU than would Tressel be all that bad of a hire? If he were surrounded with the right people I have to think he would at least be competent and would grow throughout the years, because he is a human after all, and a highly successful one at that. Plus for a university with the financial woes Akron currently has, he'd be a fantastic fundraiser (he already is for them).
Plus, maybe if he were president of UA we could get Zippy into a sweater vest, which would certainly look better than her current get-up.
Oh, and I know this isn't about athletics, but I'd have to think this would give athletics a boost if he were given some control over hiring decisions in the department.
You can view his complete application here, including his "enthusiastic" reasoning behind why he should be considered and a complete CV.
What say you: Do you think Tressel has any shot at getting this job?