YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (AP) _ Youngstown State picked defensive coordinator Jon Heacock on Thursday to take over as coach following Jim Tressel's departure to coach Ohio State.

The Division I-AA school introduced Heacock as its new coach at a news conference. Youngstown State did not immediately release details of Heacock's contract.

Heacock, 40, served as defensive coordinator under Tressel from 1991-96 and again last season. From 1997-99, he was the defensive coordinator at Indiana.

The Penguins won three Division I-AA titles during Heacock's first stint at Youngstown State. His Hoosiers ranked second in the Big Ten in total defense for the 1998 season.

University President David Sweet said Tressel wrote him a letter in which he recommended Heacock as his successor. Sweet said the note had ``a major impact on my decision.''

Tressel was hired Jan. 17 by Ohio State to replace the fired John Cooper. As coach of the Buckeyes, Tressel still has a Heacock on his staff _ Jon's brother, Jim Heacock, is Ohio State's defensive line coach.

Another brother, Jeff Heacock, is the coach at Muskingum College.