Monday, May 30, 2011

JIM TRESSEL RESIGNS AS OHIO STATE HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, SAYS GEE

Jim Tressel
(TBT/Darla Dunkle-Hudnell)
COLUMBUS — Jim Tressel has resigned as head football coach at Ohio State, the university announced Monday.

"I write to let you know that this morning (Monday) we will be announcing the resignation of Jim Tressel as head coach of the University's football program," Gee said in a statement Monday to OSU trustees. "As you all know, I appointed a special committee to analyze and provide advice to me regarding issues attendant to our football program.

"In consultation with the senior leadership of the University and the senior leadership of the board, I have been actively reviewing the matter and have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation."

Tressel, who was suspended by the university for the first five games of the 2011 regular season for withholding information of player violations last year — and is still in the midst of a major NCAA investigation — steps down as the Buckeyes mentor with a 106-22 record (.828) at Ohio State, including 6-4 in bowl games, with a national championship in 2002.

Tressel issued a statement on Monday that he felt it was time to step aside at OSU.

"After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach," Tressel said in the statement. "The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable."

Tressel's assistant Luke Fickell will be the interim head coach this season, according to Director of Athletics Gene Smith.

"We look forward to refocusing the football program on doing what we do best — representing this extraordinary University and its values on the field, in the classroom, and in life," Smith said. "We look forward to supporting Luke Fickell in his role as our football coach.

"We have full confidence in his ability to lead our football program."

Gee announced that they will not look to hire a full-time replacement for Tressel until following the 2011-12 season.