After months of media speculation that Jim Tressel was heading toward the president's desk at the University of Akron, the former Ohio State University football coach's name was on a list of 19 applicants for the job released Friday by UA's Board of Trustees.
Until now, neither UA's presidential search committee nor Tressel had confirmed the reports of his active interest in seeking the post. He is currently on an upwardly mobile career track at the heavily debt-challenged university that has earned him the newly created title of vice president for student success.
He has also emerged as a potential candidate for the presidency at Youngstown State University, again without confirmation of his personal interest.
The UA search has followed President Luis Proenza's announcement last summer that he was retiring after the current school year. The speculation that Tressel would succeed Proenza met with raised eyebrows by some faculty members inasmuch as Tressel lacked the important academic credentials of a doctorate.
Indeed, the list of applicants was something less than a roster of noteworthy scholars. And Tressel reportedly was only one of four applicants who didn't have a doctorate.
The Board said it will interview the finalists in April.
So Tressel does want the UA job, after all