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Published: Wednesday, 3/17/2010

Ohio State guarantees Tressel's job through '14

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

COLUMBUS — Looking out beyond the horizon, we know this about Ohio State and the 2014 football season — the Buckeyes will open up facing Navy in Baltimore, and also meet Cincinnati, Kent State, and Virginia Tech before diving into the Big Ten schedule.

And Jim Tressel will be the Ohio State head coach.

The rest of the lineup and coaching staff is likely “to-be-determined,” but Tressel and the Buckeyes have extended their long-term relationship so that he will be wearing the headset and calling the shots from the sideline through 2014.

Tressel, whose existing contract had run through 2012, has had his deal extended by two years and it now runs through Jan. 31, 2015, which conceivably would take him through that season's national championship game, should that develop for the Buckeyes.

“We wanted to reward Jim for his exemplary work with our football program and lock him in as our coach for an additional two years,” Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said.

Tressel, who makes about $3.5 million per year with incentives and bonuses, did not receive a pay raise with the extension. Smith said Tressel did not make that a part of the discussion.

“Jim has never once come to me about compensation,” Smith said. “Jim has indicated to me he is satisfied with his salary. He is aware of the financial situation we all face in athletics and I am thankful for his service and loyalty to the goals of the department.”

Tressel, who turned 57 in December, is 94-21 after nine seasons as head coach of the Buckeyes, and will be 62 when the new deal expires. Terminology in the contract extension also offers Tressel a position as an associate athletic director at $150,000 per year, if he steps down on good terms before the end of the contract.

As Ohio State's head coach, Tressel has beaten Michigan eight times in nine meetings, won six Big Ten championships — including the past five in a row, one national championship, and five bowl games, including this last season's Rose Bowl. Tressel has often commented on how pleased he is to be at Ohio State.

“We are fortunate to have a wonderful university administration, athletics administration, coaching staff and players,” Tressel said. “To be able to continue building the Ohio State tradition alongside these people, along with our band, cheerleaders, fans, and university community, is an honor.”

Tressel's compensation package still trails those of the head coaches at other major programs such as Texas, where Mack Brown makes $5.1 million per year, Alabama (Nick Saban — $4 million), Florida (Urban Meyer — $4 million), and Oklahoma (Les Miles — $3.8 million).

The contract extension for Tressel still needs to be approved by the OSU Board of Trustees at their May meeting, but that is expected to be simply a formality.

Contact Matt Markey at:mmarkey@theblade.comor 419-724-6510.



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