The 58-year-old Tressel benefited from the fertile recruiting grounds of Ohio, but supporters always believed he got the most out of players because he was—as the title of a 2009 book about him declares—More Than a Coach. Under Tressel, the Buckeyes often sat together before meetings or at the start of practice for 10 minutes of “quiet time” to read about virtues such as humility, faith and gratitude. Tressel liked to say that his teams “play as hard as we can play” but also “respect as hard as we can respect.” Yet while Tressel’s admirable qualities have been trumpeted, something else essential to his success has gone largely undiscussed: his ignorance.
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