Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Lee Tressel

Lee Tressel


  • Position: Coach
  • School: Baldwin Wallace
  • Years: 1958-1980
  • Inducted: 1996
  • Place of Birth: Ada, OH
  • Date of Birth: Feb 12, 1925
  • Place of Death: Berea, OH
  • Date of Death: Apr 16, 1981

Member Biography

Lee Tressel starred in academics and football in high school at Ada, Ohio, and at Baldwin-Wallace College. He was a Navy lieutenant in World War II. Tressel began his coaching career in 1948 and worked at three Ohio high schools--Ada, Mentor, Massillon. He had a 10-year record of 70-20. He became the Baldwin-Wallace coach in 1958 and held the post 23 years. He won four Ohio Conference titles and in 1978 his team won the national championship in the NCAA Division III. In the playoff games leading to the championship the Yellow Jackets beat St. Lawrence 71-7, Carnegie-Mellon 31-0, and Wittenberg 24-10. Tressel's record his last four years was 38-4. His record for 23 Baldwin-Wallace years was 155-52-6, a .742 pace. He had three sons-Richard, David, and James. All three played for him at Baldwin-Wallace. His son Richard coached 23 years at Hamline University 1978-2000. His son James began a 15-year stint as head coach at Youngstown State in 1986. He won four national championships in NCAA Division I-AA. Then he moved to Ohio State and in 2002 won the national championship in NCAA Division I-A. Lee Tressel added master's and doctors degrees. He received many coaching awards, the principal ones being Small College Coach of the Year, named by the American Football Coaches Association, by ABC-Chevrolet, and by Washington Touchdown Club. He was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Awards were named for him. Baldwin-Wallace started the Tressel Award for the football player with the highest scholastic average. The Ohio Conference started the Tressel Award for the best defensive back each year. Lee Tressel, who also served as his school's director of athletics, died April 16, 1981, at age 56.