By Christina Sainovich
Colten McFadden said coming back to Youngstown to be a part of the family legacy was something he always dreamed about.
Legacy runs deep at Youngstown State University, and it starts with the McFadden family. Paul McFadden and Dianne Rappach-Kosco have two sons, Connor and Colten McFadden.
Paul McFadden played football at YSU and then spent six years in the NFL. He was also inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame. Rappach-Kosco played basketball for the Penguins and was also inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Paul McFadden is also the member of the YSU Foundation, which is a catalyst for the advancement of YSU and Northeast Ohio.
Connor McFadden was a kicker on the football team from 2013-2016. Now, Colten McFadden is the starting kicker for YSU.
He spent his first two years of college at Kent State University and handled kickoff duties during the 2018 season. He returned to YSU in hopes of taking over on kickoffs, as well as being responsible for extra points and field goals.
Colten McFadden has done just that in his time at YSU and still has two more years of eligibility to represent the Penguins.
“It means everything, week two, running out of the tunnel here in Stambaugh, [which is] something that my dad and my brother have done for years. … So getting the chance to do that was very surreal for me,” Colten McFadden said.
While it was never said, he knew that his father [Paul McFadden] was thrilled with his choice to come home.
Paul McFadden said he always allowed Colten McFadden to make his own decisions about football, but he secretly hoped for his son’s return to Youngstown.
“This has always been all his choice, through the recruiting process, which really was a long process for him. … I couldn’t have been more thrilled, but I couldn’t give my opinion because I wanted it to be his decision, and it was. It was his decision to come back,” Paul McFadden said.
Rappach-Kosco was also a big part of his athletic career, teaching him valuable life lessons through sports.
“His mother was a tremendous athlete. She knew about athletic success. She sure faced failures and challenges like every athlete does and knew how to work as a team. I know his mother has instilled with him the life skills through athletics that she learned through athletics,” Paul McFadden said.
Colten McFadden did play basketball in high school but was ultimately in love with football.
“My mom definitely influenced me there. But in the end, I chose football and I’m really happy I did,” Colten McFadden said.
YSU special teams coordinator and running backs coach Nic McKissic-Luke said the McFadden family legacy is very important to the university.
“To be able to have that atmosphere and the impact that they’ve had on the university means a lot not only to the school but definitely for us as a football program,” McKissic-Luke said.