Coaches reunite at Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN — Mark Richmond remembers his senior year at West Virginia University.

So does Jerrod Calhoun. It was the time he crashed on Richmond’s couch.

Richmond was a basketball team manager and part of the scout team for the Mountaineers. Bob Huggins and his staff came to campus in 2007, and so did new Youngstown State coach Calhoun, who was the WVU’s director of basketball operations.

“He basically slept on my couch for a couple of months,” said Richmond, who graduated cum laude from WVU in 2008. “I was in college and he was a young guy too. We got to know each other very well.”

The two remained friends over the past decade with Richmond in Calhoun’s wedding, when he married his wife, Sarah.

“Part of my inner circle. We got to know each other over the years,” Richmond said.

It’s not a surprise that Calhoun asked Richmond to be Youngstown State’s director of basketball operations. The announcement was made Thursday.

Richmond spent the past two seasons as director of player development at Fordham. Prior to that, he was an assistant coach and director of basketball operations at East Tennessee State from 2013-15.

He also spent two seasons as an assistant at the University of Charleston (W. Va.) and two at Centenary College in Shreveport, La., when the institution was a Division I school.

Richmond said his official duties are being ironed out.

He joins assistant coaches Jason Slay and Paul Molinari, along with administrative assistant Danny Reese, a Cardinal Mooney graduate. Kevin Bruinsma is an assistant coach, but will move to director of player personnel.

Former Fairmont State guard Shammgod Wells, who helped the Calhoun-coached Falcons reach the NCAA Division II championship game, is slated to be on staff as a graduate assistant.

Rounding out the staff is former Kent State assistant coach Bobby Steinberg, who is the associate head coach.

“We have a lot of guys on staff here,” Richmond said. “Usually it’s the scheduling aspect of it, keeping him organized, the camps, the clinics, the community involvement. Right now, we’re focused on finding guys and using all our contacts to put a team together.”

Richmond said Calhoun asked him plenty about his Division II school (Charleston). There was an opening at Fairmont State, where Calhoun eventually went for his first head coaching position.

Now, Calhoun is in his first-ever NCAA Division I head coaching job and Richmond sees the same success possible for Calhoun here in Youngstown.

“I think Jerrod is good at re-energizing current guys and the community,” Richmond said. “It’s basically what he did the last five years. I think that’s why the job was so attractive to him. He’s got the blueprint. He’s done great stuff on the court. He’s really great with culture, cohesion, just getting the guys to love each other.

“I think that, over the last few years, was the difference.”