Jim Tressel made the transition from college football coach to school president a few years ago. Could his next role be in politics?
Jim Tressel, who led Ohio State to a national championship in 2002, remains an extremely popular figure in the state, eight years after he resigned following the football program’s tattoo scandal.
He has since become the president of Youngstown State University, and appears to be done with coaching.
Given his popularity among the state’s many Buckeye fans, state Republicans want Tressel to run as the GOP candidate for Senate, to oppose Democrat Sherrod Brown. From the Washington Examiner:
According to two Republicans, Tressel has not expressed interest in the Senate seat as he closes in on his fourth full year as president of Youngstown State University. However, that hasn’t halted overtures from those within the party and hopes from some that he would entertain the idea of a campaign.
“I wish he was [interested],” one prominent Ohio Republican said, citing his statewide name identification has a pre-eminent reason.
“He would be awesome, and he could win — but I’m not sure he would do it,” said one GOP operative when asked for a candid assessment of a possible Tressel bid. “There’s no one better we could get. He’d be a star.”
According to the report, Tressel has intermittently donated to Republicans both in Ohio and in the country as a whole, and has campaigned for Republican governor John Kasich. His wife donated to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
If he has a change of heart, it has to come soon. The deadline to file for the race is on February 7.