By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer
Jim Tressel will expand his administrative role at the University of Akron this fall by helping to teach a course in coaching.
He and retired Walsh University coach Jim Dennison will headline a three-credit-hour class starting Wednesday on the “General Principles of Coaching.”
This is Tressel’s first foray back onto the field — or close to it — since the NCAA levied a show-cause penalty for not revealing that his Ohio State players were trading sports memorabilia for cash and tattoos.
The penalty keeps Tressel from coaching until December 2016 but does not prevent him from teaching a class about coaching at UA, where he has been vice president of student success since May 2012.
Victor Pinheiro, head of UA’s sports science and wellness department, said response to the class has been “overwhelming.”
“We’re getting calls from all over the country,” he said. “It is a wonderful problem to have. We have expertise that books cannot provide.”
Dennison will teach topics that include starting a program from scratch and leadership and Tressel, goal setting and preparing to meet rival teams.
The breadth of the class will extend beyond football coaching, Dennison said.
Guest speakers will include UA basketball coaches Keith Dambrot and Jodi Kest, UA football coach Terry Bowden, UA men’s soccer coach Jared Embick, New York Giants scout Steve Devine and University of Mount Union athletic director and former football coach Larry Kehres.
For both Dennison and Tressel, the course will be something of a reunion.
Dennison hired the green Tressel straight out of Baldwin-Wallace University as a graduate assistant and made him quarterback coach.
“We had to utilize his talents for more than just being a graduate assistant,” Dennison recalled.
Tressel remained at UA for three more years before moving on to Youngstown State, Miami University, Syracuse University and Ohio State where, among other accolades, his team won the 2002 national title.
Dennison coached for 13 years at UA, where he was the winningest coach in the Akron campus’ history. He moved on to become athletic director and football coach at the private, Catholic Walsh University in Stark County.
The course is required for UA’s 1,500 UA undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in sports science and wellness, but also is open to those who are not UA students for a flat price of $500.
Unlike most courses, though, there will be virtually no cap on enrollment.
That’s because while the course will be able to accommodate 70 students on the Akron campus, the lectures also will be relayed through real-time long-distance learning to five other UA facilities — the Medina County University Center south of Medina, the Midpoint Campus Center in Brunswick, Wayne College in Orrville and at the Lakewood and Holmes County satellite locations.
The course is being offered from 6:40 to 9:10 p.m. Wednesdays this fall. Pinheiro said administrators may offer it to an even wider audience next semester.
For details or to register for class, go to www.uakron.edu/coaching or call administrative assistant Deanne Reynolds at 330-972-6679.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.