By Heather Knobeloch
With MVNU’s move into the Mid-central College Conference, new teams will need to be started. The MCC requires its schools to have 15 teams that compete in the conference. The University has only 10. The school has just five years to start the five new teams to meet this requirement. Thanks to Jim Tressel, one of the new teams will be football.
Tressel, the current head coach at Ohio State University, has had some tough times recently that ended with a $250,000 fine and a two-game suspension. He has been thinking of moving on and finding a new challenge, a challenge he found in starting a football team from scratch.
“I have been looking for something new,” Tressel said. “I loved my time with Ohio State, but I am ready for a new chapter in my life that will let me bring something I love to a faith-based community.”
He started to think about where he was and other things he had not yet done, with the unknown that was hanging over him because of the prospect of losing his job.
He said that three things really stood out about the opportunity with the Cougars.
“The prospect of working and living in a small town that really cares for each other is a relief to think of,” Tressel said.
“I am also grateful that the opportunity came from a Christian university,” Tressel continued. “The prospect of starting and shaping my own football team in this moment is a big bonus.”
The rumors concerning the forming of a football team that Tressel would lead came to a head when former Ohio State quarterback Craig Krenzel spoke in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium on Sunday, March 6.
Following the speech, Krenzel hinted that his former coach might be moving to a small-town Christian college and bringing football with him.
Joining Tressel are some other men to help coach the team, with their own well-known names to help get the program off the ground.
Marvin Lewis, the current head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, is one of those joining Tressel on this new team.
Lewis said that he was getting tired of being told what to do by an owner who knows little to nothing, and he was looking for a job in football with less stress.
“I had been thinking about it for a while,” Lewis said. “The football lockout just gave me the final push I needed to make the decision.”
The Bengals’ defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer, may follow his head coach to the Cougars. He won multiple awards for his work with the Bengals defense during the 2009-2010 seasons.
“He has been offered the chance to handle the defense side of the ball,” Tressel said. “He is thinking about it.”
Other names that have popped up in the search to fill the coaching ranks include Bill Cowher, Dan Reeves and Tony Dungy.
As the University works on deciding what the other four new teams will be, there will not be much money to work on the first team. With no football stadium of its own, for now the team will play at the Mount Vernon High School football stadium until one
can be built especially for MVNU.
“We are going to start fundraising to help start working towards getting the equipment that will be needed,” said Dave Parsons, MVNU sports information director.
The first fundraiser will be the sale of the ever-popular Girl Scout cookies. If you wish to help, see Dave Parsons to place your order.
“Every box of cookies,” Parsons said, “buys one spike in one football cleat.”