Sports News

Chad Zallow
Sophomore Chad Zallow competes at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.


Breaking Records, Making His Mark

Track and Field standout Chad Zallow spent the 2016-17 season hurdling his way past the competition and into the YSU history books.

The sophomore Warren JFK grad made his mark as the first runner in school history to place in the top 10 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning him second-team All-American honors in the 110m hurdles. Earlier in the season, during the Indoor Championships, Zallow earned first-team All-American honors with a third-place finish in the 60M hurdles.

Along the way he broke two school records, was named the Horizon League Alfreeda Goff Athlete of the Year, twice, and the Great Lakes Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Majoring in Business Finance, he was also a recipient of the Lester F. Donnell Scholarship and an Academic All-Conference Selection.

Zallow’s achievements were among the highlights in what turned out to be a banner season for Penguin Track and Field. The women’s and men’s track and field teams both claimed Indoor and Outdoor Horizon League championships and the men’s cross country team also took the Horizon League title. The outdoor sweep marked the third time in four years that the Penguins claimed both league crowns.

Moss, Rivers Drafted by NFL

Two former YSU defensive standouts – Avery Moss and Derek Rivers – were chosen in the 2017 National Football League Draft this spring. Moss joined the New York Giants and Rivers was the first pick of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Derek Rivers
Derek Rivers

Rivers, a former YSU defensive end, was a third round draft pick and the 83rd selection overall in the draft. He was the second-highest draft pick in YSU history, behind the legendary Ron Jaworski, who was picked 37th in 1973.

A native of Kinston, N.C., Rivers came to YSU in January 2013. A second-team all-American selection. he ended his YSU career with 41 sacks, 56.5 TFLs and 173 tackles in 49 games played and broke the school record for sacks.

Avery Moss
Avery Moss

Moss, a first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference pick in 2016, spent two seasons with the YSU program after transferring from Nebraska. He finished with 59 total tackles, including 42 solo stops this past season, and was second on the team behind Rivers with 17.5 TFLs and 11 sacks.

The 2017 draft was the first time in 33 years that the Penguins had two players chosen in the same draft – in 1984, John Goode was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals and Paul McFadden was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 2017-18 Penguins Women’s Bowling Team
The 2017-18 Penguins Women’s Bowling Team includes, from left: standing, Coach Chelsea Gilliam, Mackenzie Olesky, Rachel Ellis, Emily Dietz and Emma Dockery; seated, Nikki Mendez, Ashley Kolb, Rachel Darrow and Alexis Grimm.

Penguin Bowlers Roll into Second Season with National Rep

YSU’s Women’s Bowling Team took to the lanes for the first time in the 2016-17 academic year and finished the season ranked among the top teams in the country. Now, all eyes are on the Penguins to strike it big again in year two.

“Our first year was amazing,” said head coach Chelsea Gilliam. “I don’t think anyone expected us to finish the year ranked in the top 25. We have definitely set the bar high for ourselves, but that’s a good thing.”

The only first-year program to be ranked in the final top 25, the Penguins debuted on the National Tenpin Coaches Association Top 25 Poll at No. 24 in February, and peaked at No. 23 in early March.

They finished the season ranked 21st in the country, across all divisions, in team scoring average. The team of six freshmen and two sophomores charged onto the national stage with five top-10 finishes in nine tournaments and 20 wins over ranked teams, including three in the top 10.

“Our goal always has and always will be to bring the NCAA National Championship home to YSU,” said Gilliam. “I think we are on the right path so far, and I am looking forward to seeing what successes we have this coming season.”

Gilliam was one of 10 coaches nominated for the NTCA Division I Coach of the Year award, and YSU also had some stellar individual performances.

The Penguins topped off a successful first season with a spot on the NTCA’s Academic Team Awards list, which celebrates schools that finish with a team GPA of 3.2 or higher – only 36 programs in the nation reached that mark. Individually, Emily Dietz, Kirsten Ensminger and Mackenzie Olesky were recognized for earning cumulative GPAs of 3.4 or higher for the academic year.

New Head Coach Leads YSU Basketball

Jerrod Calhoun

Jerrod Calhoun, the 2017 Mountain East Conference Coach of the Year, is YSU’s 13th Head Men’s Basketball Coach. He replaces Coach Jerry Slocum, who retired in March after a long and successful coaching career.

A Cleveland native, Calhoun spent the last five seasons as head coach at Fairmont State University in West Virginia, accumulating an overall record of 124-38. He led the Fighting Falcons to their first 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship game appearance in school history and to their first conference championship in 21 years. Previously, he held assistant coaching positions at Walsh University and West Virginia University.

Slocum posted 723 career victories in his 42-year coaching career, including 142 at YSU – only the iconic Coach Dom Rosselli surpassed his win record.

Glory Days:

YSU Announces Athletics HALL of FAME

Five former YSU student-athletes were inducted this fall into the 2017 Class of the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

The alumni honorees are:

Brandon Caipen, Baseball 2003-06
– Caipen ranks in the top five in YSU history for career hits, runs, doubles, triples and games started. He was a 28th-round selection in the 2006 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

Jessica Fraley, Volleyball 2004-07
– The 2007-08 YSU Female Athlete of the Year, Fraley was an All-Horizon League First-Team selection in 2007 and was named a Horizon League All-Freshman Team pick in 2004.

Quin Humphrey, Basketball 2003-07
– A two-time All-Horizon League First-Team honoree, he ranks ninth all-time in scoring and is third in YSU’s Division I era.

Jay Payne, Track & Field 1989-93
– Payne was a four-year letter winner for the Penguins from 1989-93 and set longstanding indoor and outdoor track hurdle records.

Tom Zetts, Football 2003-07
– A four-year starter, Zetts is the program’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, completions, passing yards, 200-yard passing games and completion percentage.

Also named to YSU’s Athletics Hall of Fame are Drs. Michael and Dianne Miladore, who have contributed generously to the university in recent years. He was a team physician for the Department of Athletics from 1989 to 2011.