Trust leads Calhoun brothers to success

Younger brother played for and coached with current YSU?mentor

YOUNGSTOWN — Nick Calhoun embraces knowledge, wanting to enhance his life with it constantly.

The 22-year-old Youngstown State University senior peruses YouTube sites, travels and connects with other coaches.

His goal is to be strength and conditioning coach.

Jerrod Calhoun, Nick’s older brother and YSU men’s basketball coach, saw his sibling’s promise at Fairmont State where Nick was a walk-on basketball player — playing for Jerrod.

“Nothing better than walking on for your brother, who has proven to be a really good coach,” Nick said.

Nick had a vision when he left Norton High School in 2014, a team that dominated the Portage Trail Conference while he was there. He wanted to wear a basketball jersey at the collegiate level, thinking he’d walk-on at the Division II or III level.

The Fairmont State experience eventually morphed into a volunteer position, helping the Falcons’ strength and conditioning program. It’s something he now does at YSU, helping assistant strength and conditioning coach Jake Tuura and learning the trade.

Nick graduates in December with a degree in exercise science and plans to continue his graduate studies in Youngstown.

YSU assistant coach Paul Molinari saw the trust Jerrod has in his younger brother. The strength, conditioning and speed of the Fairmont State players were aided by Nick’s guidance.

“He really trusts Nick in the sense that he lets him go out and do his job,” Molinari said. “The results have spoke for themselves. Jerrod is very comfortable with Nick. It develops them and gets them ready to get on the court and be ready to practice and compete.”

Jerrod never felt compelled to be his brother’s keeper at YSU or Fairmont. Jerrod is the second oldest of five brothers. Cody is the oldest, while David, Kenny and Nick are the youngest three.

“He kind of looks out for himself,” Jerrod said of Nick. “He gets up very, very early, earlier than I do. He kind of knows how the program works. Him and (graduate assistant coach) Sham (Shammgod Wells), they’ve been with me. They know what to expect and what needs to be done.”

That’s not a surprise. It’s what Jerrod has done throughout his career.

“Jerrod is a good guy in the sense if he trusts you, believes in you and seen results, he’s going to let you run with things,” Molinari said. “He doesn’t ask a lot of questions. He doesn’t micromanage. I think that’s why things have been good in that sense.

“Nick has done what Jerrod has asked.”

The trust level lies with the YSU players.

Molinari said Nick knows their routine and is young enough to relate to the Penguin players — helping them prepare for what lies ahead on a daily basis.

“They believe Nick has their undivided attention,” Molinari said. “They believe Nick is going to put them in a position because he knows what coach expects.

“He’s played this sport, but he has the pulse of the team in that sense.”

Jerrod knows the passion his brother has displayed — how he went all over the country to study different coaches.

“Hopefully one day he’ll make that dream a reality,” Jerrod said.