Penguins Highlights

General Team Information:

Founded: 1979

Conference: Horizon League

Past Conferences: Mid-Continent Conference, Independent, Ohio Valley Conference

Arena: Beeghly Center

City: Youngstown, Ohio

Championships and Titles:


Team History

There is a first time for everything. After 40+ seasons in Division I, the Youngstown State Penguins can finally qualify for the NCAA Division I Tournament (March Madness). The program joined Division I in 1981 and sports a losing record. However, it had a prolific run in Division II for over a decade before joining. 

Dom Rosselli coached this team to its highest success. From 1961 to 1977, the Penguins qualified for the NCAA Division II Tournament nine times. It compiled an 8-11 record and consistently finished in the Regional 3rd-place game. It came closest to winning in 1972 when it lost the Regional Finals against Akron. 

In 1981, the Penguins accepted an invitation to join the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)of Division I. Rosselli coached for one season and then departed. While Youngstown started strong and put together winning seasons under Mike Rice, the team failed to do anything of note. 

After briefly playing as an independent program, the Penguins joined the Mid-Continent Conference in 1992 where it had a few successful years. Youngstown had its first 20+ win season in 1997-98 under Dan Peters along with an 11-5 conference record. It finished tied for third in the standings and just missed out on the NCAA Tournament.   

Transferring to the Horizon League made it harder for Youngstown. Joining in 2001, the program has had just three winning seasons (as of 2022-23). This is despite the efforts of players like Kendrick Perry and Cameron Morse who led the Penguins’ team stats in the 2010s. 

The Penguins have also had a losing record on the NCAAB odds’ spreads. Since 2005, Youngstown is covering just under 49 percent of its games. It is typically an underdog and has only had a winning conference record, 2011-12, 2019-20, and the recent season: 2022-23. 

Presently, Jerrod Calhoun still coaches the team. Dwayne Cohill is the team’s star player and leads the Youngstown Penguins’ team stats in scoring, assists, and steals. It’s been a long journey for the program. But if the last season is any indication, Youngstown could finally enjoy postseason basketball.  

All-Time Youngstown State Penguins Records

Points Scored

  • Kendrick Perry: 1,991
  • Cameron Morse: 1,913
  • Reggie Kemp: 1,820


  • Naz Bohannon: 990
  • Tim Jackson: 899
  • Michael Akuchie: 840


  • Bruce Timko: 551
  • Kendrick Perry: 505
  • DJ Cole: 418


Is Youngstown State University a D-I school?

The Youngstown State Penguins play in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. They have participated since the 1981-82 season with the Ohio Valley Conference. They now play with the Horizon League as of 2022-23.

Has Youngstown State always been Penguins?

The Youngstown State University’s team was originally called the “Locals”. The team adapted its current moniker around 1933 in West Liberty, West Virginia during a road game.

What was Youngstown State’s record in D-II?

Youngstown State compiled a 372-184 record in NCAA Division II for a 66.9 winning percentage. The program qualified for eight NCAA Division II Tournament appearances with a record of 8-11.

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