Former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel connected with students at the school through a class he taught on the art of coaching.
New Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer is reaching out in more magnified ways.
This weekend, he opened up Ohio State's practice to the student body, and about 3,000 students crammed in to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where the workout was moved because of heavy rain, to watch the Buckeyes. Students were allowed to sit on the field while the team scrimmaged, and they surrounded the line of scrimmage during the place-kicking portion of practice.
Next month, Meyer and his staff will hold a town hall meeting at the Ohio Union. Students who get tickets to the May 15 event will be able to ask questions of Meyer and his assistants and snack on the coaches' favorite foods.
From the Associated Press:
"When I first went to Florida I visited almost every student organization on campus," Meyer said. "This place [Ohio State] is too darned big and I'm getting a little older, so I can't do that. So we're reaching out to the students. Sometimes we keep forgetting what this is all about is about student-athletes and it's about the student body and making the collegiate experience a positive thing. So, what's every student want? They want ownership and access. We're going to give it to them."
It's not uncommon for new coaches to make an effort to connect with the student body. Some lesser known ones really need to. While Tressel also valued campus life and the university experience, he kept accessibility very limited during his tenure.
Meyer doesn't have to win over Ohio State students, but it's good to see him making an effort.