On this anniversary of James Patrick Tressel’s last day at work, several of the folks from tBBC are joining others in the BBN to talk about the impact that The Vest had in Columbus, both on and off the field.
We were fortunate to be able to talk with former Buckeye Roy Hall about his time at Ohio State and the ways that Coach Tressel shaped his life beyond football. Our conversation was over the phone, and we’re thankful that Roy took time out of his schedule to connect with us.
Can you talk a little bit about your favorite football memory from your time at Ohio State?
Wow- it’s gotta be The Game in 2006, #1 vs #2, Ohio State versus That Team Up North. I was finally healthy after being banged up for a couple of games, and Troy was looking for me early. I made a few key catches, and will never forget being able to score in my final game in The Shoe.
I was a freshman when we won it all in Glendale, so that’s something special as well, but the 2006 game is something I’ll remember for the rest of my life
That was an amazing game, and will go down in the history of OSU, Michigan, and B1G Ten Football! What about your time with Coach Tressel- you were part of one of his first recruiting classes. Can you tell me something that stands out for you about your time under him?
What has always stood out to me is that he was a man of faith, and let it guide him in all that he did. That was incredibly important for him- even when he recruited, he wanted to find young men who had high character; 40 times and bench press amounts were important, but always secondary. He realized that we were only football players for a brief time, and challenged us to find what will sustain us after that was done- how do you make the most of your education and your faith. He always treated us as men first and football players second.
A lot has been made of Coach Tressel’s book “The Winner’s Manual”. What memory do you have of the way it was used during your time in Columbus?
Man, it was a book of knowledge! We read it every season, and it was always new- he was always finding things to add to it to challenge us to think deeply.
One of the early things that really stood out to me was the idea of taking a quiet time each day during pre-season camp and the first few weeks of the season. He wanted his players to be humbled and to focus on their purpose; and asked each person to write daily something that they were grateful and thankful for. As a young guy, I remember putting down the usual things- family, Ohio State football… but as I grew more mature, I really started to reflect on how much I had been given and what that meant for you.
I will also say that I had a transformative life event while I was in college that was impacted by Coach’s example and leadership; I started to take my faith much more seriously and let it guide me to be the person I have been called to be.
editors note- As we talked, Roy rattled off a number of the words of success that he had learned from Coach Tress and The Winner’s Manual from memory… but my ability to note all of them was insufficient.
Have you talked with Coach Tressel recently?
Well, not for a couple of months, although I know he’s always a text message away. He always stays in touch with his guys, and we can count on hearing from him on holidays and birthdays and special events.
You’ve created the D.R.I.V.E.N. Foundation following your college and pro careers. Tell us a little bit about what that is and where that comes from.
You know, as a senior I had the chance to do “The Main Event” with several other teammates and Coach Tressel, where I was able to share my faith with a huge amount of young people. While I was there, I felt a calling that this is what I was supposed to do- use my position as a platform to open doors to reach kids. People will listen because of my football experiences, and because I got to play at Ohio State.
We started off by doing a football camp, but now are involved in schools, with mentorship programs, and a number of different ways to impact the lives of those around us. Our goal is to show respect and love to build positive relationships- to plant a seed that we hope will grow into something much greater.
Again, we can’t thank Roy enough for taking time out to connect with us, and we’re excited to add D.R.I.V.E.N. to our ways that Buckeye Fans can Pay It Forward.
Be sure to check out other articles from the Buckeye Bloggers Network that look at Jim Tressel’s career and legacy at Ohio State: