If you're a first-year head coach, it's nearly impossible to turn a college sports program into a winner overnight. Often times it takes years to create a winning atmosphere.
If we're talking style points, Fairmont State Head Coach Jerrod Calhoun has been able to rack those up only seven months into the job.
"Our fans have been unbelievable," Coach Calhoun said. "We're averaging 2,000 fans per game in two nights. So we're going to continue to build on that. I think there's a lot of excitement in the community and now we've got to win games. It comes down to getting out there and performing, and I think we will."
Why is that buzz back in Fairmont? Just take a look at the roster. Calhoun recruited 11 new players.
Stevie Browning and Trevor Andrews-Evans are incoming freshman from in-state powerhouse Logan High. Malik Stith is a transfer from Division-I St. John's and Brendan Cooper was a Division-II Junior College All-American. Whatever Coach Calhoun is selling, players are certainly buying.
"Coach Calhoun talked to me," Cooper said. "I liked what he had to say and I trusted him so I ended up coming here."
Fairmont State is in the process of locker room upgrades, which should help raise the level of recruiting even more.
As far as this season goes, the Falcons could use one more player.
"If there was a missing link it would be just a terror on the glass," FSU Assistant Coach Paul Molinari said. "A guy who could just go rebound for us, undersized guy that's a battler, who just comes up with the big rebounds and can get you the inside basket."
"I think we're lacking a strong inside presence, but we've gotten a lot better. We've got 11 new guys. We're just trying to get them to play every possession hard, practice and keep them at a high level. If we can do that, I think it'll rub off in the games," Coach Calhoun said.