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Published: Saturday, 3/7/2009

Tressel headed for Middle East

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The upcoming road trip will be a little longer than most for Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

The football boss of the Buckeyes will be part of a delegation of coaches that plans to visit U.S. servicemen in the Middle East in May with the Armed Forces Entertainment tour. The group is scheduled to make stops in Afghanistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

"It's a tremendous honor," Tressel said. "We'll get to spend some time with our men and women that are serving, and let them know how much everyone back here appreciates what they are doing."

The tour, which is scheduled to last for eight days, is organized through the Department of Defense. Tressel will be joined by Texas coach Mack Brown, Houston Nutt of Mississippi, Rick Neuheisel of UCLA, Troy Calhoun of Air Force and former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.

Tressel said the group will be briefed on the specifics of their tour in the near future, but they already have been told to expect temperatures well over 100 degrees each day, and travel in military transport planes. He called the opportunity "an adventure" and said he receives a lot of correspondence from servicemen stationed overseas, and is anxious to meet with the troops.

"I've always admired tremendously the people who have served - both the ones before us and the ones now," Tressel said. "They have tough duty, and it's good to give them the chance for a little bit of a reprieve and to see a little bit of home."



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