After 10 years and one tumultuous offseason, Jim Tressel has resigned as Ohio State’s football coach.
University President E. Gordon Gee released a statement Monday morning saying assistant coach Luke Fickell will coach the entire 2011 season and that a search for a permanent head coach will not start until after the upcoming season.
Tressel was facing a five-game suspension and $250,000 fine for failing to report NCAA violations committed by his players.
“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 a statement released by the university. “The appreciation that Ellen and I have for the Buckeye Nation is immeasurable.”
On Dec. 23, 2010, the NCAA suspended quarterback Terrelle Pryor, running back Dan Herron, receiver DeVier Posey, offensive tackle Mike Adams and defensive end Solomon Thomas for five games for selling memorabilia and receiving improper benefits from Eddie Rife, owner of Fine Line Ink tattoo parlor. Linebacker Jordan Whiting also earned a one-game ban.
OSU originally suspended Tressel for two games, but the coach later asked for his punishment to match that of his players. Fickell was to take over during Tressel’s absence.
“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,” athletic director Gene Smith said in a statement. “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.”
Tressel compiled a 241-79 record in 25 years as a head coach at Youngstown State and OSU. He won four I-AA championships at Youngstown State.
Tressel took over for John Cooper before the 2001 season. In his second year at OSU, the Buckeyes won the National Championship, beating a heavily favored Miami (Fla.) team, 31-24, in double overtime.
He amassed a 106-22 mark at OSU, earning his 100th win Oct. 9, 2010, against Indiana.
The Buckeyes won, or shared, the Big Ten title seven times under Tressel, who guided OSU to a 9-1 mark against Michigan during his tenure.
OSU reached the National Championship game in 2007 and 2008, but lost to Florida and LSU, respectively.