Posted by Jerry Hinnen
You can't really blame Akron fans for getting their hopes up, can you?
Jim Tressel was once a graduate assistant for the Zips, and he is more-or-less available, and he may have even been at an Akron basketball game recently. (Possibly. Maybe. Though probably not.) Given the hopeless mess the Akron program finds itself in after the recently dimissed Rob Ianello's two-year, 2-22 tenure, if we were Zips fans, we'd start a Facebook page asking the Vest to come coach our team, too.
But alas, it's not to be. Zips athletic director Tom Wistrcill said in a statement released Tuesday evening that while he had at least spoken to the former wildly successful Ohio State head coach, Tressel had told him thanks-but-no-thanks.
“While Coach Tressel has shared with us that he is not interested in coaching at Akron," Wistrcill said, "he has graciously volunteered to help his alma mater however he can during the search for our next football coach."
As reported by the Akron Beacon-Journal, Wistrcill had originally stated he would not be making any public statements following Ianello's firing, but that the widespread nature of the Tressel-to-Akron rumors within the Zips community had demanded a response.
Even if Tressel had been interested, however, the odds the Zips could have actually hired him were awfully long to begin with. Though not yet official, it remains highly likely that the NCAA's Committee on Infractions will punish Tressel for his role in the recent Buckeye scandals and cover-ups with a show-cause order, one that would make him all but unemployable at the NCAA level. Tressel will not be hired by anyone, Akron or otherwise, this 2011 offseason.
So where will the Zips turn instead? Paul Winters, former Zip and Akron assistant and current head coach at Division II Wayne State, is currently considered the most likely choice. Another name floated has been Toledo offensive coordinator Matt Campbell.
Photoshop of Tressel in Akron regalia via "We Want Jim Tressel for Akron Zips Football" Facebook page. Your optimism is sincerely saluted and admired, gentlemen.
For a full, updating team-by-team overview of 2011's coaching changes, check out (and bookmark) the Eye on CFB Coaching Carousel One-Stop Shop. And voice your opinion for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year by voting HERE.