Molinari named Men’s Basketball Chief of Staff at Utah State

Utah State head men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun announced the hiring of Paul Molinari (Mall-in-are-ee) as the chief of staff for USU’s men’s basketball program.
Molinari, a 30-year coaching veteran at the Division I and II levels, comes to Utah State after spending the past seven years on staff at Youngstown State under Calhoun. During his illustrious coaching career, he was recognized by as one of the top mid-major assistants in Division I.
“I’ve known Paul for 20 years and he was instrumental in our success at both Youngstown State and Fairmont State,” said Calhoun. “It is really important to have a great chief of staff and Paul will do a tremendous job here at Utah State.”
During his time at Youngstown State, Molinari helped lead the Penguins to five-straight winning seasons for the first time in their Division I era (since 1981-82) after posting a 22-10 mark in 2023-24. During his last three years, the Penguins won a Horizon League-best 41 conference games and a league-high 65 games overall. YSU also won 41 home games over the last three years, including a Division I school record 14 games in each of its last two seasons.
“I’ve spent the last 12 years working with coach Calhoun at both Youngstown State and Fairmont State, and I’m thrilled to continue our professional and personal relationship here at Utah State,” said Molinari. “I look forward to building on the great success that Utah State basketball has had over the years and I’m excited to be part of this special place.”
Molinari helped lead Youngstown State to its first regular-season conference title after guiding the Penguins to a 24-10 record and a 15-5 league mark en route to the Horizon League Championship in 2022-23. The 24 wins tied the program record for victories and the 15 Horizon League wins set the record for conference victories. YSU concluded its season with an appearance in the National Invitation Tournament.
In 2021-22, Youngstown State’s 19 wins were its most since 2000-01 and its 12 Horizon League wins were a school record. YSU also tied the then-Division I record for most home wins with 13 and secured the program’s second postseason berth in three years with an appearance in the inaugural The Basketball Classic. The Penguins also won their second-ever postseason game with a 70-65 victory over Morgan State.
In 2020-21, he helped guide the Penguins to their second straight winning season by posting a 15-12 overall record. It marked the first consecutive winnings season since the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons.
In 2019-20, Molinari assisted the Penguins to one of the most historic seasons in the program’s Division I history. Youngstown State finished the year with an overall record of 18-15 and placed fourth in the Horizon League with a 10-8 league mark. The Penguins’ 18 wins were the most since 2012-13 and tied for the fourth most in YSU’s Division I era, while their 10 league wins tied a school record for most wins in Horizon League play. Furthermore, YSU’s 17 regular season wins were the most since 2000-01 and the most since joining the Horizon League.
For just the second time in program history, the Penguins accepted a Division I postseason berth to the Tournament, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the tournament was canceled.
In 2018-19, Molinari helped the Penguins to a four-win improvement from the 2017-18 season and posted the second-most wins in Horizon League play since joining the conference in 2001-02. The Penguins also set the school record for most 3-pointers made in a season with 303.
During his first season with Youngstown State in 2017-18, the Penguins set a school record with 266 steals, breaking the 27-year-old record of 255 set in 1990-91. YSU also scored 2,410 points, which ranked fifth on the single season scoring list.
Molinari joined Youngstown State after five seasons (2012-17) as associate head coach on Calhoun’s staff at Fairmont State. There, he helped the Falcons to a five-year record of 124-38 (.765), four NCAA Tournament appearances and at least 20 wins each season.
During the 2016-17 season, Molinari helped Fairmont State to the NCAA Division II National Championship game, a school-best record of 34-3, its first conference championship in 21 years with a mark of 21-1, and its first NCAA Division II No. 1 ranking since 1976. The program also won 30-or-more games for the first time since 1974-75.
In 2015-16, Fairmont State ended the season with a 25-5 overall record, earning a bid to its third NCAA Tournament in four seasons.
In 2013-14, Molinari helped lead the Falcons to their second-consecutive, 20-win season and the Falcons earned a trip to the Mountain East Conference Semifinals as the fourth seed in the tournament.
During the 2012-13 season, Molinari helped lead the Falcons to the biggest single-season turnaround in school history. The squad also made an appearance in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game for the first time in 28 years and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Tournament.
A native of Oneonta, New York, Molinari spent nine seasons at Winthrop from 2003-12 as he was part of Gregg Marshall’s staff for five seasons and was an assistant for Randy Peele the last four years. In his nine years with the program, Winthrop won the conference tournament title five times earning bids to the NCAA Tournament in each of those seasons. In 2006-07, the Eagles finished 29-5, were ranked 22nd in the nation, and upset Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Molinari also spent seven seasons (1996-2003) as an assistant at Cleveland State. In 2000-01 Vikings went 19-13, their best mark in a 14-year span.
From 1994-96, Molinari was an assistant coach on Scott Thompson’s staff at Wichita State. The Shockers won 13 games in his first season, which marked the school’s second-most wins during a seven-year run and included a 10-4 record at home at Koch Arena.
Prior to that, Molinari spent two seasons as video coordinator at UNLV with Rollie Massimino. Led by Isaiah Rider, the fifth overall pick in the 1993 Draft and future NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Runnin’ Rebels went 21-8 in 1992-93 and earned a trip to the NIT.
As an undergraduate at Villanova, Molinari spent four years as a student manager under the direction of Massimino while earning a degree in operations management in 1990. During that time, he assisted the coaching staff as the Wildcats reached two NCAA Tournaments, including one run to the Elite Eight in 1988, and two NIT berths.
He went on to join Jim McDonald’s staff at Kent State from 1990-91 as a graduate assistant where he earned a master’s degree in sports administration. He returned to Villanova during the 1991-92 season as a graduate assistant as the Wildcats reached the NIT in coach Massimino’s final season.

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