Remembering Tress: Billy Brewster

Written May 28th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

As we reflect on the legacy of Jim Tressel, it’s important to remember that “you win with people” was more than just a motto for his work. He impacted people in significant ways that are long lasting, and not just folks who played for him.

Grant at BHC has done an amazing job at talking with former players regarding the way playing for Coach Tressel changed their lives; we wanted to look just outside of that inner circle a bit. We’re thankful to our friend Billy Brewster, CEO of Time and Change Clothiers for taking some of his valuable time out to answer some of our questions and give us a deeper perspective.

What was your connection with Coach Tressel? I know you had a relationship via your brother’s recruitment, but you also worked in the Athletic Department- what was that like?

I had the opportunity to work on Coach Tressel’s staff as an intern under Greg Gillum for 3 seasons (2007, 2008, 2009). While working for Coach Gillum, we worked primarily on recruiting associated tasks but would also work on miscellaneous operational projects. During that time, we were able to secure some of the best recruiting classes in the country.

That 3 years working on Tress’ staff was the opportunity of the lifetime. I was fortunate to build relationships with every staff member from Coach Tress to the other interns. The way Coach ran the program was nothing short of first class and it showed through our success. 

Are there any things that you’ve taken away from your time at OSU? What “life lessons” or values did your internship there or your experiences with Coach Tressel leave you with?

One of the biggest things that I took away from my time spent at Ohio State football was how Coach Tressel carried himself and his preparation. He always had time for everyone and genuinely took an interest in what was going on in your life. He was as fierce as a competitor as I had ever been around. His preparation was absolutely impeccable, with no detail overlooked. He is a true professional.

Do you have a favorite football related moment during your time in Columbus? Any stories about Coach Tressel that you’d like to share?

My favorite memory was probably the Rose Bowl victory. To win a BCS game is always a great accomplishment but that one felt extra sweet considering the recent losses we had suffered in bowl games.

Much is made about the family atmosphere at Ohio State while you were working there, and about Coach Tressel’s connection with players’ families. What was your parents’ experience like, and what is their impression of Coach Tressel?

My entire family loves Coach Tressel and are very grateful for the opportunity he provide Michael, as well as myself. When I came to Ohio State in the fall of 2007 I literally knew two people in all of Columbus, one a family friend, and the other being Coach Tressel. The coaches and other staff members became my family that fall and the WHAC gave me a sense of home. 


Coach Tress is the kind of man that you want your son to be coached by, and the kind of man I want to become. I cannot begin to describe what he has meant to myself and my family. He provided Michael with the opportunity of a lifetime, he made his childhood dreams come true. He is a man of honesty and loyalty. The way he ran the program is second to no one in my eyes. 

He’s one of the best ever at what he does and his tenure here at Ohio State is a direct reflection of that. 

Finally- If there’s one thing that Ohio State fans should know about Jim Tressel, what would that be?

He’s the best. There are very, very few people that you meet throughout life that you can honestly say “He will always be there for me no matter what the situation is.” Coach Tressel is one of those people. I was just an intern but that’s the kind of man he is. He honestly takes a vested interest in every single person he comes in contact with. I always think that is one of the things that made him so great. He honestly cared about everything he was associated it. He knew that Ohio State football wasn’t just football. It was forming young men into contributing members of society with high integrity.

Thanks, Billy- Best of luck to you and to Michael as you move into the next phases of your life!!

Be sure to check out other articles from the Buckeye Bloggers Network that look at Jim Tressel’s career and legacy at Ohio State:

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