Despite rumors to the contrary, Jim Tressel will not be the new football coach at the University of Akron.
Tressel holds a graduate degree from UA, but he will not be a candidate to replace Rob Ianello, who was fired Saturday night after two seasons that produced identical 1-11 records.
“While Coach Tressel has shared with us that he is not interested in coaching at Akron, he has graciously volunteered to help his alma mater however he can during the search for our next football coach,” Director of Athletics Tom Wistrcill said in a statement released late Tuesday night.
Radio and Internet sources said Tressel, a former coach at Ohio State and Youngstown State, was on campus Tuesday.
Many of those same reports said Tressel was at Rhodes Arena on Saturday night for the basketball game between the Zips and the University of Detroit.
Several university officials who attended the game said Tressel was never there.
“He is going to draw a crowd anywhere he goes and nothing like that happened,” said an official who did not want to be named.
Rhodes Arena has approximately 5,500 seats and none offer any privacy, so Tressel would have been easy to spot.
Those same officials said that Tressel definitely was not on campus on Tuesday.
At the news conference to announce the firing of Ianello on Saturday night, the media was told that Wistrcill would not field any questions about candidates until the hiring process was complete.
He issued the Tuesday statement in response to the rumors that had taken on a life of their own.
Tressel, 58, was an assistant coach with the Zips from 1975 to 1978 under former Zips coach Jim Dennison, and received a master’s degree in education from UA.
He coached at YSU from 1986 to 2000 and at Ohio State from 2001 to 2010.
Tressel resigned his position at Ohio State on May 30 after failing to report NCAA violations by his players.
The Zips have instituted a national search to replace Ianello. No timetable has been set to name his successor.