From Comcast SportsNetAKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is going back to school -- in a newly created position at the University of Akron. The school announced Thursday that Tressel has been hired as vice president for strategic engagement and will earn a base salary of 200,000 per year. The job starts May. 1. University officials say he will work with alumni, community organizations and friends of the school to develop strategies and efforts to help students succeed. Akron President Luis Proenza says in a statement that Tressel will bring his energy, leadership, passion and compassion to the university. Tressel was forced to resign last May amid a scandal at Ohio State. He met with Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay about the team's head coaching position but didn't get the job.
Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, the presumptive 49ers' next head coach, was announced Thursday as the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year.
Dallas’ Jason Garrett was selected as NFL Coach of the Year and Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie was chosen as NFL Executive of the Year in voting conducted by the Professional Football Writers of America.
The 49ers are not allowed to officially hire Shanahan as head coach until the Falcons’ season has concluded. Atlanta plays host to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.
Shanahan interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 5 during the Falcons’ bye week in the playoffs. He is scheduled for a second interview with the club next week, regardless of the outcome of the Falcons’ game Sunday.
Under Shanahan’s direction, the Falcons scored an NFL-best and franchise record 540 points, which tied the 2000 St. Louis Rams for eighth-most in NFL history. Atlanta’s 6,653 total yards ranks No. 13 in NFL history.
The Falcons finished as champions of the NFC South with an 11-5 record and the NFC’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
Quarterback Matt Ryan, who was announced this week as the PFWA NFL Most Valuable Player, thrived in Shanahan’s offense. Ryan threw touchdown passes to a NFL-record 13 different receivers and led the league with a 117.1 passer rating.
Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was named NFL Executive of the Year, the Pro Football Writers of America announced Thursday.
McKenzie joins Al Davis, who was named Executive of the Year in 2002, as Raiders who have earned the PFWA honor, which was established in 1993.
In 2016, McKenzie’s fifth year as General Manager, the Raiders posted a 12-4 record and advanced to the postseason for the first time since the 2002 campaign. The Raiders had an NFL-high seven Pro Bowl selections, had two players earn first-team All-Pro recognition and DE Khalil Mack was named the PFWA Defensive Player of the Year.
Since being named General Manager by Owner Mark Davis in 2012, four Raiders draft picks have gone on to receive Pro Bowl selections. Mack, the Raiders’ first-round pick in 2014, earned his second straight Pro Bowl nod, while QB Derek Carr, the team’s second-round selection that year, emerged as a Most Valuable Player candidate and has received Pro Bowl invitations in each of the last two seasons. WR Amari Cooper, the team’s first-round pick in 2015, has also earned two Pro Bowl selections after beginning his career with consecutive 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. RB Latavius Murray, a sixth-round pick in 2013, earned a Pro Bowl bid in 2015 and was named an alternate this year.
In addition, 10 players drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round or later since 2013 have started multiple games for the team and six different draft picks have earned All-Rookie honors.
Last offseason, the Raiders signed LB Bruce Irvin, S Reggie Nelson, G/T Kelechi Osemele and CB Sean Smith, securing four of the “top 25 available free agents” according to NFL.com. All seven of the team’s draft picks saw significant action during the season and first-round selection S Karl Joseph was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team. A remarkable seven undrafted free agents, acquired by the Raiders in the weeks following the 2016 NFL Draft, finished the season on the team’s active roster.
Oakland Raiders media services