Youngstown State Basketball Staff Update

First-year Youngstown State head men’s basketball coach Ethan Faulkner has announced his coaching staff for the 2024-25 season.

Dwaine Osborne, a 28-year coaching veteran, has been named associate head coach while Danny ReeseEvan FaulknerAnthony Johnson, and Mark Richmond will serve as assistant coaches, and Rocco Nolfi has been tabbed chief of staff.

Osborne spent 11 seasons as the head coach of the University of Charleston, where he compiled an overall record of 220-102. He led Charleston to the Mountain East Conference Championship game five times and was named MEC Coach of the Year four times. No coach has more MEC Championship game appearances or MEC Coach of the Year honors than Osborne.

“I’m super excited to welcome DO to Youngstown,” Faulkner said. “As I went through this process, I knew adding head coaching experience to our staff would be important. Over the last 11 years, he built one of the most successful programs in college basketball. He’s a proven winner, elite relationship builder, and has an incredible mind for the game. His experience and knowledge will have a major impact on our program.”

Reese, who has been at Youngstown State since 2016-17, is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Penguins. Over the last five seasons, Reese helped the Penguins to 98 wins, a regular-season championship, and the first consecutive 20-win seasons in nearly 60 years.

“Danny has been a foundational piece to our coaching for the past seven years,” said Faulkner. “Retaining him was extremely important. He is a tireless worker who has great relationships with our players, across our university, and throughout the city. His promotion is deserved and well earned. His impact will be felt in all aspects of our program.”

Faulkner, Ethan’s identical twin brother, spent the last eight seasons at the University of Pikeville, including four years as associate head coach. UPIKE went 23-8 in 2023-24, and he helped the program to 168 wins.  Faulkner also helped develop four NAIA All-Americans; two MSC Players of the Year; one MSC Freshman of the Year; five first team all-conference and eight second team all-conference representatives.

“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity to coach with Evan,” Faulkner stated. “His chance to coach at the Division I level is long overdue. Evan’s ability to relate to people is going to be felt immediately. Additionally, he has a high basketball IQ, will be relentless in recruiting, and serve our players in every way he can.”

Johnson spent last season as Mississippi as the director of player personnel under Head Coach Chris Beard. Prior to Ole Miss, Johnson was an assistant coach at USC-Upstate for two seasons. In 2021- 2022, Johnson helped develop two all-conference players, including Big South Freshman of the Year selection Jordan Gainey and All-Big South second team selection Bryson Mozone. In 2022-2023 Gainey earned All-Big South first team honors, and Justin Bailey was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team.

“Anthony is an incredible addition to our coaching staff,” said Faulkner. “He has grinded through every level of college basketball and has worked for some of the best coaches in the country. He is well connected in recruiting and those relationships will have major benefits for our program. He has a passion for player development that will help our players take their game to another level.”

Richmond is his second tour and third year overall with YSU after serving as the Penguins’ Director of Basketball Operations from 2017-19. He spent five seasons as the head coach at Notre Dame College from 2019-24 where he posted 64 wins, including 47 over the last three years. He also had stints at Fordham, East Tennessee State, Charleston and Centenary.

“Mark is another guy that I felt was very important to bring back,” Faulkner said. “Having been at YSU before, he understands what it takes to win in Youngstown. Mark has extensive Division I coaching experience as well five years of successful head coaching experience. Those experiences will be invaluable to our staff. He is extremely organized, connected in recruiting, and will build great relationships with our team. He will be relied on heavily in all aspects of the program.”

Nofli is in his second year with Youngstown State athletics and his first on the men’s basketball staff. He originally joined the Penguins family in 2023-24 as a special assistant to the executive director of athletics focusing on fund raising.

“Rocco has worked behind the scenes in our program for multiple years,” said Faulkner. “He has been instrumental in our fundraising efforts and ensuring that we have every resource necessary to enhance our player’s experience at YSU. His passion for our program is second to none. I’m excited that he will take on a bigger role with our staff and know he will continue to serve our players.”

Tagged with: