This has been a heck of an offseason for the Ohio State Buckeyes and for Head Coach Jim Tressel, but all of it has finally come to a close on Monday. The former Buckeyes man in charge has officially stepped down.
Tressel has been at Ohio State since 2001. Before that, he was the head coach at Youngstown State, but before that, he was at Ohio State as a receivers and running backs coach. The former head man in Columbus went at least 7-1 or better in each of the last six seasons, bringing Ohio State to six straight BCS Bowl games. In fact, since taking over in 2001, he only had two seasons with fewer than 10 wins, and those were the only two seasons in which he didn’t make it to the BCS. Tressel only had one non-winning season in the Big 10, including two perfect seasons and six straight at 7-1 or 8-0.
The Buckeyes had a heck of a season last year, which ended in a win in the Fiesta Bowl. Unfortunately, just before that, the program was shaken in a huge way when several leaders of the team, including Terrelle Pryor and four of his teammates were suspended for selling championship rings, jerseys, and other paraphernalia. Tressel elected to not suspend the stars at Ohio State for the bowl game, letting them play as long as they promised to come back to the program for their senior years and serve their suspension handed down by the NCAA.
Later on, the NCAA suspended Tressel for the first two games of the season for hiding those allegations to the NCAA and to the university. Ohio State later increased the suspension to five games to match those of the players.
The pressure on Tressel mounted with each passing day in this process, and it all came to a head on Memorial Day, a holiday that ended up being not so happy for Buckeye Nation.
Now, the shoes for the university will be filled Luke Fickell, the man that was going to be in charge for the first five games of the season in Tressel’s absence. A tremendous recruiter, Fickell has been with Ohio State since 2002. He was the defensive line coach for the Akron Zips before coming to Columbus, where he has served as special teams coach, defensive line coach, and co-defensive coordinator.
Fickell will not be named the full time head coach at the university, but he will surely be considered if the Buckeyes have a great season. There are definitely some recruiting problems that the university will have going forward. Ohio State President, E. Gordon Gee and Athletic Director, Gene Smith know that they are going to have a heck of a search for a head coach starting for the 2012 season, when a permanent replacement will be named.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.