In a ceremony that at one point made him cry, Mark Dantonio thanked everybody associated with Zanesville football for getting him to the point he is at today.
Dantonio, the first-year head football coach at the University of Cincinnati, was honored Thursday at the North Terrace Church of Christ by the ZHS Quarterback's Club in the organization's annual Past Presidents dinner.
"It's a very humbling experience to come back to your home town and see all the people that you haven't seem for so many years," Dantonio conveyed to the large crowd.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel accompanied Dantonio to the event. By his own admission, Tressel said he was "secondary" on this day.
Dantonio thanked several family members, former ZHS coaches, UC Athletic Director Bob Goin, coach Tressel and OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman, in addition to others, for giving him the background necesary to reach the University of Cincinnati.
"Coaching is about young people," Dantonio said. "I get interviewed a lot these days and I always go back to my childhood, go back to the people who have impacted me.
"Coaching is about teaching."
Dantonio got his first head coaching job Dec. 23, 2003. The 47-year-old served as Ohio State's defensive coordinator at Ohio State for three seasons prior to getting the job with the Bearcats.
Tressel also spoke publicly in person for the first time since a recent rash of legal incidents hit the Buckeyes football program.
"It's certainly not the type of reflection any of us would like," Tressel told WHIZ. "I don't know that we can stop and say this is a bad reflection, let's sit down and cry for a while.
"We have to keep trying to get better. We constantly talk about what can we do to help young people make good decisions.
"We'll keep working at it."
14 Ohio State football players have been involved in 15 legal incidents since Tressel became the Buckeyes head coach about 3.5 years ago.