A Page -- Aug. 5, 2010

Dave Tressel is the one of the three 

brothers who has been an academic 

mentor to young men outside the 

football realm

By Norm Weber

Dave Tressel took a little different path than brothers Dick and Jim, but still went the education route, and thus has served as the anchor for the Tressel name in Berea, at B-W and in the Cleveland area.


Instead of using his strong educational base from his parents Lee and Eloise and channel it into molding football players/confident young men, Dave Tressel focused mainly on the academic half of the family Student/Football footprint, serving as a teacher in the Berea School System for 35 years. He was not totally divorced from the athletic part of it, coaching both boys and girls in swimming during his active years.


However, when the moniker “educator” is tagged on Tressel, it is in the highest sense of the concept as a true Renaissance man. He has taught virtually every subject under the sun as an education generalist as opposed to specialist.


“Education is our vehicle for teaching kids about life,” Tressel said. “We would like them to become model adults and we try to use ourselves to be models they might want to use as a starting point. My parents were concerned for the individual beyond the sport. What those young people accomplish later in life was always at the forefront, and I naturally did the same in my career.”


At times a natural path for an educator is to go into the administration after a few years of teaching, but for Dave Tressel it was in the classroom for all 35 years of his career. He wanted to be sure he could always have that direct contact with the youth.

Dave Tressel

“Because I taught so many subjects, school never got stale; there was always something new and exciting,” Tressel said. “As the years moved on, the young teachers who came in were exciting to me because they were always full of ideas. Our parents instilled lifelong learning in us. Because of that we have never been bored with learning.”


While in the elementary schools, Tressel, particularly for young boys, served as a male role model, something elementary schools are at a deep shortage of nationally, marking his individual contribution as part of the exception instead of the norm.


The “individual” component of each student is what Dave Tressel most took from the Tressel family concept, aiding them in their personal lives, helping them find jobs and getting them to the next level. He has had a different perspective than his two brothers in that he was worked more directly with members of both sexes.


Also all extracurricular school activities in and out of sports have been a focal point for Dave Tressel’s lessons.


“The things learned from sports and other activities transfer to other parts of life,” Tressel said. “Things like being on time, team work, not letting a teammate down, doing one’s specific part according to his individual talent, goal setting, sportsmanship, work ethic, time budgeting, and many other things work together in making the whole person. The disciplines learned through activities make them successful in their careers.”


Over the decades the trend in colleges has shifted from a majority of men to a majority of women.


“Title IX has created opportunities for women that were not there in the past,” Tressel said. “They do have special math and science programs for women that they do not have for men although they are starting to pop up for men to teach them values and continue on with their education. It has not changed the way I do things. I work with boys and girls and men and women using the same educational concepts.”


While helping students reach their full potential, Tressel again defers to the “individual” component when there is a problem of a student getting stuck, who might not be going forward when he could be. He has taken this on independently of that person’s sex, race, or other demographic data, eliminating the whole “grouping” by trivial or non-trivial categories.


Dave Tressel probably could have coached football like his brothers and dad but he went his own way, furthering that “individuality” piece which also transferred into the role model he has been to youth.


“Upon graduation from B-W, I immediately got a job in the Berea City School District, a great district in which to teach,” Tressel said. “Berea was a wonderful place to raise a family. With teaching one does not move around as much as one does with coaching. Keeping the Tressel name here is not something I think of much, but I do like to participate in it when there is a special occasion (i.e. the renaming of the field in Finnie Stadium) because of what our parents gave us and the community. We are all beneficiaries of two great people with a great legacy.”


In semiretirement, Tressel is now on the school board in Berea and also serves as a consultant to the student-teaching division of B-W’s education department. All four of his children are also currently teachers and/r coaches, including Lee II (as named after his grandfather), who is the strength coach for the New York Yankees.

 Football Tabbed Eighth in NCAC Poll

Story Reported by Mike Mancini
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8/4/2010 1:41:33 PM
Westlake – The Oberlin College football team received 19 points and was selected eighth in the annual North Coast Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll which was released on Wednesday. 

Oberlin, which was also selected eighth in the ohiocollegefootball.com poll that was released yesterday, will open its season on September 4 at Kenyon College. 

While the Yeomen are not getting high praise in the preseason polls, the potential for this team to be a factor is there. OC returns its entire starting offensive line from a year ago that features seniors Chris PottmeyerMike Lawand Chris Creech.


Furthermore, the entire starting unit on defense is back with seniors Cody Wiewandt and Adam Wigren controlling the middle part of the line. Fellow senior Solomon Turner also leads one of the most experienced secondaries in the conference. 

Projected starting quarterback Josh Mandel will also have a talented group of receivers to throw to in senior Ryan Harvey and sophomores Adam Niec andRobin Witjes. Tight end Danny Enright is another large target that could provide match-up problems for opposing defensives. 

Reining NCAC Championships Wittenberg claimed eight of nine first-place votes to sit atop the poll with 79 points. Wabash received the other first-place vote and finished second with 71 points. The complete poll can be viewed below. 

All of the Yeomen football games will be carried live on AM-1320 WOBL and streamed live online on loraincounty.com and goyeo.com

North Coast Athletic Conference 2010 PreseasonFootball Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)
1. Wittenberg (8).................................................79
2. Wabash (1)......................................................71
3. Allegheny .......................................................63
4. Wooster...........................................................56
5. Ohio Wesleyan................................................41
6. Denison...........................................................32
7. Kenyon............................................................30
8. Oberlin............................................................19
9. Hiram..............................................................14

Jim Tressel has taken the Div. III 

model learned from his father and 

made it work at Div. I in the quest to 

develop young men as future leaders

By Norm Weber

Beyond the football experience the young Student/Athletes who don the Scarlet and Gray of the Ohio State Buckeyes every fall is the lifelong learning nut coach Jim Tressel plants in each one. In turn, he expects, with the cultivating effort of the individual, that the nut continues blossoming in each man during his OSU experience and then exponentially long after he has left school.


“We always welcome our former players back here,” Tressel said. “Some of them do get pro opportunities, but I make sure they know that in more cases than not, it won’t last a long time and conversely that the education gained anywhere on campus and particularly in the classrooms will. If they leave without finishing, we do whatever we can to help them once they do come back to finish school. It is our job to make them that well-rounded person and that is what we thoroughly enjoy doing.”

Full Story...

 Jim Tressel

A prime example of this is Dick Shafrath, who played offensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and has owned a canoe livery in Loudonville ever since then.

“After he was drafted by the Browns, he left Ohio State and did not have the time to graduate during his long pro career,” Tressel said. “He came to us a few years ago and asked if it were possible for him to come back and graduate. We helped him get back in and he renewed his college career at age 70. Two years later, at 72, he graduated and alongside him were his six children and 18 grandchildren at the ceremonies. It was the greatest day of his life.”

Shafrath played on a national championship team at Ohio State and was later one of Woody Hayes’ captains in the 1950s.


Tressel came out of that Division III model at Baldwin-Wallace, where no athletic scholarships are permitted. Even though he has the scholarships to offer now, Tressel has carried that “full learning package” to Division I, first at Youngstown State and most recently at Ohio State.


“It was the only model we knew,” Tressel recalled. “Both my mom and dad were all about education first and athletics second. They were all about helping young people grow and establishing them in their careers. That was the satisfaction in their total existence. It made perfect sense that in watching how satisfied it made them that that was what we wanted to do.


“It really should not matter whether it is Division I, II or III. The primary reason for these young men to be here is to graduate. That is going to be first and foremost, always. We let them know that the things they learn here are going play in their lives for many years to come. As long as they want to keep on learning we are here to provide them with every opportunity to do so.”


It was Eloise Tressel who went back to school later in life to instill the lifelong learning concept into her three sons. Lee Tressel provided the recruiting basis to teach the three Tressel brothers to bring in their recruits as students first and athletes second.

 The late Lee Tressel

Tressel is well aware that colleges in general have lost a great deal of their male enrollees. A group that was once 90 percent of all college students in America now represents only 40 percent. Football is a vehicle to bring some of them back, not just as players, but as band members, ancillary parts of the team and for those with no direct attachment simply an entertainment activity for Saturdays during fall semester/quarter, as a break from their weeklong studies.


“Getting a degree is also only a part of being a college student; things like sports and other extracurricular activities provide an adjunct to completing the total college package,” Tressel said. “Be it for men or women, anything that can help keep students interested in college is well worth exploring. I know of 15 different colleges that are either adding football within the next three years or are close to a decision to do so. Yes, adding football is a great mechanism for bringing in more male students.”


Within the last three years here in Cleveland, Lake Erie and Notre Dame Colleges have added football. Cleveland State is exploring and all indications are that it is at least do-able.


“There are some statistics that indicate that through the course of time women have found the right avenues for learning and have been doing it at a high rate,” Tressel said. “From a boy’s standpoint, he might not see those same avenues and thus we see a decrease in numbers. Several men see football as the part of the total college package. I am not surprised that these schools are adding football to attract more male students.”


Tressel has both an incoming and outgoing message for the young men in his program and the university at large.


“When they first walk through the door, we let them know that this is going to be about more than football” Tressel said. “We let them know we are going to be a stopping point on their path to growing. They might be finding themselves, but what we try to do is help them find themselves as a total person. On the way out the door, we let them know we are always here for them. We let them know that if at any time in the future they reflect back on all the things they’ve learned here, they should be able to tackle any hardship that life brings them.”


There is no desire for Jim Tressel to go into professional football simply because the academic component is not in full force as at the collegiate level.sllkdlksddkl

Dick Tressel has used the Lee 

Tressel model to sharpen young men 

at both the D-I and D-III levels

By Norm Weber

COLUMBUS – Dick Tressel has joined his brother Jim in bringing the Division III Student/Athletic model to a Division I school, Ohio State. Their mission to mold successful young men is derived from the Tressel family concept of academics first and athletics second.


While football is important at Ohio State and for the Tressels, the university is primarily in business to educate and Dick is one who knows that it is through properly nourished education that men will realize their full potential.


“We watched dad (the late Lee Tressel) as an educator of Student/Athletes, and by watching him I knew I wanted to do that,” he said. “We saw a ‘whole-person’ thing going on in his work with young men, which jumped out at me and made me decide I wanted to do the same thing.”


Dick was a highly successful Division III coach at Hamline College in Minnesota, taking up there his childhood experiences around his father and as a Student/Athlete himself at B-W and becoming a natural in developing young men who were students first and athletes second. Just because he moved on to Division I did not mean he left that concept behind him.


“The model does not change even though the guys might be bigger and stronger, and that for some of them their first jobs could be in professional football,” he explained. “Growing up in that Tressel household, we emphasize to our young men to think long term more than short term. If they do, they will see that the education will take them a lot further than football in more cases than not.”


The emphasis is developing the multi-faceted man.


“Even a guy lucky enough to make it into the pros might play for six years and then he is 28 and still has 50 years of working ahead of him,” Tressel said. “In order for him to move on beyond that, the characteristics that go well beyond football have to start getting developed in college if not sooner.”


Dick’s mother Eloise, who’s father was  teacher in the Cleveland city schools and in Ada, went back to school at B-W after the three boys were old enough to go unsupervised at home, having been one of the pioneers in a trend that is still striving today with the many mothers returning to college at non-traditional college ages. The downside, although not necessarily the cause of it, is that much fewer men are going to, staying in and graduating from college than when the late Lee Tressel began coaching/educating in the 1950s. Men were 90 percent of college students then and are only 40 percent now.

Dick Tressel


“I have seen that dramatic shift in enrollment from more men to more women even though I don’t have an expert explanation for why that is,” Tressel said. “We see every individual man we work with as a critical case. I would hope that the men I work with can take that football opportunity they have with our program and channel the positive energy they gained from it to later in life when they get to work with young men at some point, teaching them that football or something else could be their path to a good education and subsequently a better life.”


The challenge for individuals like Dick Tressel is conveying that to young men in a way that it will sink in and that they buy into it once they have enabled it to penetrate into their thought processes.


“The one thing that I share with all of them is that one day football will end,” Tressel said. “If they can accept that fact, they will see how invaluable the educational opportunity football helped provide for them is, and that they will take it upon themselves to be contributing citizens. I talk to them about it all the time.


“The most rewarding thing for me is that when I see someone later in life, years after I had worked with him when the light maybe did not quite go on, and then he comes back and tells me the light finally did go on in him. It is great to find out that eventually it did, even though I was not there to see it. He might say something like, ‘You know that thing you were talking about back in 1989? I finally caught on to what you meant and it has really made a difference in my life.’ That’s when the educator in me really gets satisfaction, sort of a delayed gratification.”


Dick wanted to be an educator from Day I and there is a good reason why by choice he has remained in the college game and avoided testing the professional waters.


“I saw the kind of family environment I came out of and when I was a young teacher and coach, I made a decision that once I had a family, I wanted to put them into the same kind of educational environment because I believed it is one that can’t go wrong. Lee Tressel was not only a good role model for me but also for a lot of other guys outside our immediate family who took the education path. I try to be the same for any of the young guys I work with today.”


All three of Dick Tresssel’s sons are educators. Two are teachers and one is an assistant coach to Mark Dantonio at Michigan State.


“All three of them taught football at one point or another and they also realize that when talking football to a young man, they can more readily get other educational messages to him, whether it is a chemistry lesson or something else,” Dick Tressel said. “I am blessed to have all three of my boys in education.”


All three of them do different things. The second is an elementary school educator and the third a high school PE teacher in Minnesota.

These three stories on the Tressel brothers were originally written for Synergies Magazine, an alumni publication of Baldwin-Wallace College. The original assignment was to write about the “three brothers’ development of young men,” and not about football.