MANSFIELD -- Former Ohio State University football coach Jim Tressel, president of Youngstown State University, believes the Buckeyes will enjoy a solid season with first-year coach Ryan Day holding the clipboard this year.
"Ryan will be fine," Tressel said. "I've talked to him a couple times. I always tell people that if you go back in the history books, you'll see every coach who has been there has won.
"You're going to win at Ohio State. You've got great players, the tradition is tremendous. He'll be fine; he's got to be himself. He can't try and be Woody Hayes or Urban Meyer or anyone else."
Tressel spent the morning with Mansfield City School District employees as a kickoff to the school year. The staggered-start school year will begin Aug. 26.
Tressel, like Meyer, noted the responsibility of being the Ohio State coach and representing his home state while holding the program to a standard of success.
Tressel has a long relationship with Mansfield City Schools Superintendent Stan Jefferson, dating to the recruitment of Malabar standout Rudy Reed, who wound up at Syracuse when Tressel was an assistant in 1981-82.
Later, Tressel hired Jefferson as part of his staff at Ohio State in 2004. Jefferson stayed on after Tressel was fired in 2011 and continued to work for Luke Fickell and Urban Meyer.
Tressel also delivered an inspirational address to staff to begin the school year.
"In order for students to feel where they are going is a safe place in order to have success, we can't make it with out our community, without our educational partners," Tressel told the Mansfield City Schools staff. "Bringing everyone together gives us a chance."
Tressel spoke of the importance of education, leadership and achievement.
"We talk all the time about crime problems, opioid problems -- I think education can help solve those problems," Tressel said. "We've got to get better at parenting, and that's hard. I know a lot of people don't like to hear that because it can sound mean, but the people that I've seen that come to coach and now administrate in -- the ones who have had great parenting have such an advantage, such a head start.
"If there's a way we can enhance that, we can give kids more hope."
Jefferson said his goal was to build hope with students and teachers in his district, but that it won't happen overnight.
"We will do everything we can to reach out to our parental community, including coaches and teachers reaching out and build that relationship," Jefferson said. "It will take time to build that relationship. All those players that (Tressel) named, I have built relationships with them and their families, ate from their tables, spent time at their home, but that was over a number of years building a relationship.
"The area of K-12 will be about how well we can build partnerships with our school community."