Jim Tressel was back in Columbus yesterday, but his visit had nothing to do with football.

Jim Tressel was back in Columbus yesterday, but his visit had nothing to do with football.

Instead, the former Ohio State coach, who resigned under pressure last year after it was learned he lied to the NCAA, was chaperoning a trip to the Statehouse for two University of Akron students. Tressel is now the vice president of strategic engagement at Akron.

The students, Jason King of North Canton and Margaret Brass of Buffalo, N.Y., recently won an entrepreneurial competition for students from colleges in northeast Ohio, and traveled with Tressel to Columbus to meet some lawmakers and state government officials.

"We're bragging about these guys, these are two stars," Tressel said of King and Brass, when asked what brought him back to the city where he rose to the top of college football only to come crashing down last May.

He said he and his wife, Ellen, were living in "temporary quarters" in the Akron area and were looking to buy a home.

When The Dispatch spotted Tressel at the Statehouse, he stood with the two students as lawmakers and lobbyists bounced from hearing to hearing. No one asked for autographs.

Tressel was warm and welcoming when approached, but it was clear he didn't want to talk football.

For instance, when asked if he had a chance to watch the Buckeyes' spring game last weekend, he said: "I've moved to Akron, so, no, I didn't have the chance."

Asked if he's spoken with current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer lately, Tressel said: "Not this spring, he's been working 100 miles an hour and so am I."

So what is Tressel working on in his new role at Akron?

"The basic thing is working hard to create student success programs, that's No. 1," he said. "We're working to develop relationships with business partners, we're working in development and alumni relations. Basically I'm a jack-of-all-trades and master of none."

jvardon@dispatch.com

@joevardon