Former YSU football players excited about Tressel presidency
By Joe Scalzo
When Jim Tressel applied to be Youngstown State’s president, former YSU offensive tackle Pat Crummey flashed back to the end of his junior season, when Tressel applied to be the head football coach at Ohio State.
“I knew the minute he applied [at OSU], he was gonna get the job,” said Crummey, a YSU Hall of Fame inductee in 2011. “When he applied for the Ohio State job [critics] talked about his inexperience with big programs and now they’re talking about his inexperience with academics. But when you’re a leader, you’re a leader. That experience will come as he takes over. He’s just got all the intangibles it takes to be the president of YSU or the Ohio State football coach.”
Crummey, who played for Tressel from 1998-2000 and played for Jon Heacock in 2001, was one of several players at Friday’s YSU alumni golf outing at Youngstown Country Club who said Tressel’s football success was due as much to his intangibles as his football mind.
Those qualities, they say, will translate well to his new position.
“If you’ve spent any time around him, you understand what he can do for this university,” said YSU Hall of Famer Jeff Wilkins, a longtime NFL kicker who played on Tressel’s national championship teams in 1991 and 1993. “He’s going to surround himself with a good group. He’s going to go out and put a good team together. In any business, that’s what you need to do. He’s always been able to do that in the coaching field, but I think in this field too. He’s going to go out and assess everything and put together a great team.”
Former YSU fullback Mike McGlone played for Bill Narduzzi in 1985, then played his next three years with Tressel. He was named a team captain in 1988, when he won the Ron Stoops Inspirational Player Award.
He said Tressel’s got a knack for connecting with all types of people.
“His ability to interact with individuals at any level, whether it be heads of corporations or someone like me, just a regular guy, will help him get the most out of the community,” McGlone said. “Also, it’ll allow him to communicate all of his needs throughout the entire university and his leadership. He’ll drive the agenda.
“I think it’ll be great to see what [Tressel] can do with fundraising, but also [what he can do with] his presence in the community and with the overall image of Youngstown State University, as far as keeping the kids here, getting enrollment up and keeping it up.”
Chris Inglis, a YSU team captain in 1996, agreed, said Tressel will get the best out of everyone who works with him, “without cracking the whip.”
“People want to do good for him,” Inglis said. “That’s how it was in football — people didn’t want to disappoint him. Without screaming and yelling, he got the best out of everybody.”
YSU football coach Eric Wolford said he was hoping Tressel would get the job and believes it will be good for the program.
“I think that Tressel knows that we run a quality program that does things the right way,” he said. “I welcome that [hire].”
Wolford also believes Tressel understands better than most how important athletics are to any school, particularly one like YSU.
“He recognizes athletics are the front porch to a university and he knows we need him in a lot of ways,” Wolford said. “We expect big things.”