BETHANY, W.Va. – Jim Tressel, President of Youngstown State University and former Ohio State University football coach, will be the keynote speaker at the Bethany College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Banquet on May 5.
The banquet, which will be at Benedum Commons on the Bethany campus, is an annual event hosted by SAAC in appreciation of student-athletes. Every member of Bethany’s 22 varsity sports teams is invited, as well as coaches, athletic staff and administration.
“The Student-Athlete Advisory Banquet is the highlight event of the year for the athletic department, as we not only recognize the accomplishments of our student-athletes and programs, but also have a chance to say thank you to staff, faculty and administration for their support throughout the year,” said Brian Rose, Bethany’s Director of Athletics and Recreation and SAAC advisor.
“And thanks to the efforts of Bethany alum and Youngstown State Board of Trustee member Jim Greene and (Bethany President) Dr. (Scott) Miller, the banquet will feature a dynamic leader in Jim Tressel,” said Rose. “For our student-athletes to be able to hear Mr. Tressel speak about his experiences and share his message will make this an even more memorable evening, and we look forward to welcoming Mr. Tressel to our campus.”
Tressel became the president of YSU on July 1, 2014. He previously was Vice President for Student Success at the University of Akron.
Earlier this year, Tressel was selected for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame for his successful coaching career. With the honor, Tressel will join his father, Dr. Lee Tressel, who was inducted in 1996, in the Hall of Fame. Tressel himself comes from a Division III background, as he graduated from Baldwin Wallace College, which is where his father coached and won 155 games from 1958-73.
From 2001 to 2010, Tressel was head football coach at Ohio State, where he posted a 106-22 record in 10 seasons. His teams won the national championship in 2002, captured seven Big Ten championships and appeared in eight BCS post-season bowl games. As head football coach at YSU from 1986 to 2000, Tressel’s teams won four Division I-AA national championships, making him the only coach to win national championships at both levels of Division I. He also was executive director of Athletics at YSU from 1994 to 2000.
All of the approximately 450 NCAA Division III colleges and universities have a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Rose said. The mission of Bethany’s SAAC, which is congruent with the mission statement of the NCAA’s SAAC, is “to enhance the total student-athlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare, and fostering a positive student-athlete image at Bethany College."
The organization’s efforts through this year included being instrumental in the College’s Relay for Life event, making blankets for county children during the holidays, hosting a Faculty Appreciation Luncheon during Division III week, and finishing in the top three in the conference during a Change War that raised funds for The Cure Starts Now Cancer Research Foundation.
In addition to Tressel speaking at the banquet, the evening will feature a buffet dinner, an awards-style presentation recognizing both the academic and athletic accomplishments of Bison student-athletes, and programs and a slide show with highlights throughout this past year.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.