Calhoun leaves for Utah State, Faulkner to take over

Jerrod Calhoun (above) is leaving for Utah State. Photo by Dylan Lux / The Jambar

By John Ostapowicz / The Jambar

Ethan Faulkner was appointed the 14th head coach of the Youngstown State University men’s basketball team April 1 following Jerrod Calhoun’s leave from the position.

Calhoun was hired March 30 as head of the Utah State University men’s basketball program.

Faulkner joined the Youngstown State men’s basketball staff in August 2019 and was named associate head coach in 2022. He graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2014 and played in 117 games with the Norse.

Under Calhoun, Faulkner coached 11 All-Horizon League selections and helped the program win 98 games over five years.

Ethan Faulnker is the 14th head coach in YSU men’s basketball program history. Photo courtesy of

With his hire as head coach, Ron Strollo, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, stated Faulkner was the ideal replacement.

“We feel very fortunate to have someone of [Faulkner’s] caliber step into this role and lead our program,” Strollo stated. “It was important for us to make this decisive decision to assure our current players, portal transfers, high school recruits and supporters that the program will continue to succeed.”

Calhoun’s leave from YSU comes almost a month after an 82-70 loss to Cleveland State University in the quarterfinal of the Barbasol Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship.

After former USU head coach Danny Sprinkle resigned March 25, Calhoun became the Aggies 22nd head coach in program history. Sprinkle spent one season with USU and led the program to its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance and first tournament win since 2001.

The Aggies program has appeared in 24 NCAA Tournament and 18 Mountain West Conference championships. USU has reached the Round of 32 twice and made a trip to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

Diana Sabau, vice president and director of Athletics at USU, said Calhoun embodied all the qualities the team looked for in a head coach.

“[Calhoun] is energetic, enthusiastic, a player’s coach and is motivated to keep our current student athletes in Logan,” Sabau stated.

Calhoun contitunes his coaching career at Utah State with several postseason appearances, three coach of the year honors and an overall record of 242-144.

He leaves YSU as the programs’ winningest coach since Dom Rosselli, who was with the Penguins for 36 years from 1946 to 1982.

Calhoun was hired as YSU’s head coach in March 2017. Over seven seasons with the program, he recorded an overall record of 118-106, was named Horizon League Coach of the Year and led YSU to win its first regular-season conference championship.

In the 2023-2024 season, Calhoun led the Penguins to a 22-10 overall record and their fifth straight winning season for the first time since the 1981-1982 season.

Over the past five years, Calhoun accumulated a 98-62 record with the Penguins and delivered two consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in YSU’s Division I history.

Prior to Calhoun’s arrival, the last 20-win season was set during the 1997-1998 season by former Penguin head coach Dan Peters.

Calhoun’s 24-10 record in the 2022-2023 season tied the school record for most wins in a season. In the same year, he guided the program to its first National Invitational Tournament appearance against Oklahoma State University.

Before coming to YSU, Calhoun served as head coach at Fairmont State University from 2013 to 2017 and led the program to four NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. Calhoun won nearly 80% of his games and recorded five 20-win seasons.

Joe Mazzulla, head coach of the Boston Celtics, stated on USU’s website that learning from Calhoun as an assistant at Fairmont State made an impact on his coaching career.

“[Calhoun] is a coach that I have learned from my entire career. He is a program builder and a connector of team and community. He is dedicated to building a program and a culture of success on and off the court,” Mazzulla stated.

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