Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Tressel signs new contract with OSU

6-year deal follows crowning season

Enquirer news services

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, 50, signed a new six-year contract Monday worth at least $1.3 million next season and escalating to $1.8 million in the final year.

The new deal comes after Tressel led Ohio State to its first national championship since 1968 with a 31-24 double-overtime win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

The contract, which replaces a deal that would have expired after the 2005 season, includes a base salary of $285,700 that increases to $405,300 in the final year.

"It is an appropriate reward for what coach Tressel has already accomplished on and off the field," OSU athletic director Andy Geiger said.

Tressel will earn $420,000 from radio, television and public relations and $335,000 from the university's deal with Nike in the first year. Both amounts will increase yearly.

The contract also contains bonuses tied to the academic performance of the team, but at Tressel's request, the only athletic bonus is an additional $200,000 if the Buckeyes play in the BCS title game.

OSU President Karen A. Holbrook echoed Geiger's sentiments.

"Coach Tressel is doing a truly outstanding job in his work with the players and staff, and also as a university ambassador," Holbrook said.

Tressel has a record of 21-5 in his first two seasons at Ohio State, including 13-3 in the Big Ten Conference and a 14-0 mark last season.

"I am truly humbled to be a small part of (OSU), because I believe this is one of the great institutions of higher learning in this country," Tressel said. "I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead and to giving our fans, the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio a football team that will represent itself with class and dignity both on and off the field."

Last season was the school's fifth national title but first since the Buckeyes were coached by Woody Hayes in 1968.

Tressel was named national coach of the year by several organizations, including the Football Writers of America and the American Football Coaches Association. He joined the Buckeyes after 15 years at Youngstown State, where he had a 135-57-2 record and won four Division I-AA national titles.

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