Dick Tressel talks to area football all-stars

PERRYSBURG — The football field and the classroom are much the same.
That was the message Dr. Dick Tressel, Ohio State running backs coach and the older brother of Buckeyes’
head coach Jim Tressel, made clear to the players of the Northwest Regional All-Star Football Game
before the teams’ practice at Perrysburg Junior High Tuesday.
Tressel applied his 40-plus years of experience in football and education to his speech to the roughly 70
players in attendance, stressing the importance of doing the little things the right way — both on and
off the field.
“You would hope (the players get out of the speech) the basics and fundamentals,” Tressel said after
addressing the players. “We talked about some basic stuff. Some fundamental things in life. They’re very
much the same (as in football).”
Tressel is no stranger to Northwest Ohio, having coached high school football at Gibsonburg (1971-73)
early in his career. He is in his 10th year at Ohio State, serving as the running backs coach since
2004. He spent over 20 years as head coach and athletics director at Hamline University in St. Paul,
Tressel was born in Columbus and grew up in Berea, where his father was head coach at Baldwin-Wallace
College. Tressel received his undergraduate degree in physical education at B-W where he played football
for his father. He went on to get his master’s from Florida State and doctorate from Minnesota.
“The extra that goes into the whole concept of getting all the people working together, whether it be the
strategies or the sociology of the whole thing,” Tressel said. “It’s getting people all on the same
page. Just because it’s bigger makes it a little bit more challenging and exciting to be in the world of
Football was obviously a big part of the Tressel family, and his knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport
were evident to the players in attendance. But it was his advice in the game of life that affected at
least two players.
“It was an honor just to be in the same area as him,” Zach Clifford, a defensive back from Bowling Green
High School, said of Tressel. “His message was great, about the doing the right things. I’m not playing
college football, but even for me, it applied to everyone who was listening.”
“I got some pointers I can take to the next level like working hard and doing the little things right in
the classroom and off the field and the big things will take care of themselves,” said BG’s Adam
Crawford (wide receiver) who will be walking on with the BGSU football team.
The teams of roughly 35 players each started practicing Monday. The Gold squad will be led by Evergreen
coach Todd Thieken and Gibsonburg coach Matt Harp and members of their respective staffs. A group of
retired coaches, including Tom Ferguson of Rossford and Tom Snook of Whitmer, will be in charge of the
Black squad for the third consecutive year.
A total of 14 players from Wood County are on the rosters for the game, including those from BG,
Perrysburg, Rossford, Eastwood, Otsego, Lake and Northwood.
“It’s an honor just to be nominated to be playing with all these great players and coaches,” Clifford
said. “Even the players we played against, it’s going to be a blast to play with them. I’m really
excited at the opportunity.”
The game will be held at Toledo Whitmer High School beginning at 7:30 p.m.
It had been held at Perrysburg High School before being held at Whitmer last year and Springfield in
The change in location was necessary due to construction at Perrysburg’s Steinecker Stadium, including
the installation of FieldTurf this summer that is scheduled to be ready for the regular season.
Proceeds from the game, which have averaged approximately $6,000 per year, are used to support Perrysburg