After Jerrod Calhoun departed for Youngstown State, Joe Mazzulla was announced as the head basketball coach for the Fairmont State men’s basketball team.
Mazzulla played in Morgantown from 2006 through 2011 and became a fan favorite during his senior campaign. He averaged 7.7 points, 4.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.
You could always tell when watching Mazzulla play he’d end up on the sidelines coaching. He always played with an innate sense of maturity and understanding of the game, sort of like Nathan Adrian. Mazzulla was a key contributor on the 2009-10 team that made the Final Four, playing in all but one of WVU’s 38 games.
One of Mazzulla’s most memorable performances came against the Duke Blue Devils in the NCAA Tournament. Then a sophomore, Mazzulla came off the bench to erase a 10-point first half deficit and lead the ‘Eers to victory. He scored 13 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and dished out eight assists. According to this NY Times piece, Coach Mike Krzyzewski pegged Mazzulla as the game’s most valuable player.
Fairmont won’t be Mazzulla’s first coaching job, though. He’s made previous stops at Glenville State, was an assistant on Calhoun’s staff in Fairmont , and most recently in the NBA development league as an assistant with the Celtics. Mazzulla does have some hefty expectations to live up to, as the Falcons made the D-II National Championship this past season. They ultimately lost, but finished 34-3, including an incredible 19-0 record at home. I imagine this is just a stepping stone for Mazzulla’s coaching career, although it’s a comfortable location being so close to Morgantown.