Jim Tressel

2010 Athletes in Action Hall of Faith Inductee

Photo courtesy of Athletes in Action

“If the game of life ended tonight, would you be a winner?"

That was the question posed by former New York Yankee Bobby Richardson during a Fellowship of Christian Athletes' retreat Jim attended in high school.

"The only way to assure eternal victory is to ask Jesus into your life and let God direct everything you do," Bobby continued.

That night, Jim decided he would do whatever it took to make it into God’s "Hall of Fame."

“The beauty of it was, I discovered I didn’t have to do anything. God had already done it all,” Jim says. “He was simply looking for people who were willing to accept that fact and allow Him to take control of their lives."

“As a coach, I know that certain fundamentals make the difference between winning and losing,” Jim adds. “God has revealed three fundamentals that we need to focus on if we hope to succeed in life: 1) Knowing God, 2) Loving God, and 3) Serving God. Stick to these fundamentals, and true, lasting victory will always be within your grasp.”

The Tressel family is actively involved with Athletes in Action, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the OSU Thompson Libraries and The Ohio State University Medical Center, particularly the James Cancer Center.

Jim and his wife, Ellen, have 4 children: sons Zak and Eric and daughters Carlee and Whitney.

Jim has a B.S. degree in education from Baldwin-Wallace (1975), graduating cum laude, and a master’s in education from the University of Akron (1977). He played football for his father, Lee, who was head coach at Baldwin-Wallace.

Other notable achievements:

  • Inducted into Athlete in Action's Hall of Faith, 2010
  • Head Football Coach at the Ohio State University, 2001-Present
  • 2002 Division I National Champions
  • Head Coach At Youngstown State, 1986-2000
  • Led Youngstown State to four Division I-AA
  • National Championship Cheverolet National Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994 and 1997
  • American Football Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in 1991, 1994 and 2002 Has a career record of 229–78–2
  • Four-Time Varsity Letterman, 1971-1974 at Baldwin-Wallace

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