Author Topic: Tressel, Teams To Be Honored on October 8  (Read 325 times)

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Tressel, Teams To Be Honored on October 8
« on: September 22, 2022, 04:52:57 PM »
Youngstown State President and former YSU Head Football Coach Jim Tressel will be honored along with the members of the 1987 Ohio Valley Conference Champions and the 1997 Division I-AA National Champions on Oct. 8 at Stambaugh Stadium.

The Penguins play host to North Dakota in a key Missouri Valley Football Conference clash at 6 p.m. Tickets are available by calling the YSU Athletic Ticket Office at (330) 941-1978 or visiting YSUsports.com.

Tressel, who is retiring from his role as YSU President in February 2023, served has the Penguins' Head Football Coach from 1986-2000. He also served in the role of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics his final six years. He returned to YSU in 2013 as the school's president. On the sidelines for the Penguins, he coached the program to National Championships in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997 while reaching the title game in 1992 and 1999.

1987 OVC Champs

The Penguins posted a 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference mark becoming the first Division I team in school history to claim a conference crown. YSU shared the title with rival Eastern Kentucky to advance to the Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. QB Trenton Lykes, WR Elliott Fedd, LB Paul Soltis and DB Rod Henderson were named first-team All-OVC during the season. Lykes was named the Offensive Player of the Year while Solits was the co-Defensive Player of the Year.

YSU beat Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay to open league play before dropping a 14-7 contest to EKU. The Penguins defeated Middle Tennessee State, Murray State and Morehead State earning a share of the title.

The Guins beat Akron in the regular-season finale to secure a postseason berth. The Penguins finished the season 8-4 overall and became an independent starting in 1988.

1997 Division I-AA Champs

In their first season in the Gateway Football Conference and first as a conference member since their 1987 OVC title, the Guins won their fourth championship in school history.

YSU finished the regular season with a 9-2 record dropping two conference games by a total of six points. In the playoffs, the Guins opened with a 28-13 win over Hampton. In the quarterfinals, YSU overcame a three-touchdown deficit to shock Villanova. The next week, the Guins travelled to Spokane, Wash., to defeat Eastern Washington 25-14.

In the National Championship Game in Chattanooga, Tenn., YSU scored a late touchdown to knock off McNeese State, 10-9.

YSU had six players named first team All-GFC - Jake Andreadis, TB 1997 Harry Deligianis, DT 1997 Matt Hogg, OT 1997 Todd Kollar, OT 1997 Tom Paolucci, LB 1997 Dwyte Smiley, FS  and three others - 1997 Adrian Brown, RB 1997 Mike Stanec, LB 1997 Demond Tidwell, QB - were Honorable-Mention selections. Deligianis was named the Gateway's Defensive Player of the Year.

Hogg, Deligianis, Kollar and Smiley were All-American honorees with Deligianis being a unanimous selection.

Jim Tressel Leaves Legacy

    Tressel brought a winning attitude to the Mahoning Valley when he took charge of the Penguin football program in the mid-1980's. He gave the people something to rally around in a time of need and helped keep the spirits of everyone in the community high.
    He came to Youngstown in 1986 and within two seasons the Penguins were in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. The playoffs, once a dream, became commonplace for YSU. In his tenure, Youngstown State appeared in the playoffs 10 times and won four national championships.
    The first national title came in 1991 and began a run of four straight title-game appearances. The march to the crown in 1991 was magical as the Penguins won eight straight to end the season. YSU won at Georgia Southern on Nov. 2 and was never to lose again that season. In the playoffs, the Penguins beat Villanova, Nevada-Reno and Samford before beating Marshall in the title game.
    After losing in the title game to Marshall in 1992, the Penguins were back in 1993 to finish 13-2 and beat the Herd 17-5 in the title game.
    In 1994, the Penguins were unbeaten in 15 games finishing 14-0-1. YSU tied Stephen F. Austin in the season opener and then won a school-record 14 consecutive games to earn a repeat championship. In the playoffs the Penguins beat Alcorn State, Eastern Kentucky and Montana en route to the title game. YSU beat Boise State 28-14 to earn its third national title.
    In 1997, the Penguins were back in the national title hunt. In the playoffs, YSU beat Hampton, Villanova and Eastern Washington to advance to the title game. In a tight defensive game, YSU beat McNeese State 10-9 to earn Tressel's fourth title.
    En route to the 1999 National Championship Game, YSU set an NCAA Division I-AA record winning 15 consecutive playoff games after beating Montana, North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M in the preliminary rounds. In the championship game, YSU lost to Georgia Southern.
    In his final year in 2000, YSU finished 9-3 and qualified for the playoffs for the 10th time.