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Former YSU kicker McFadden reflects on playing career

BEAVER TOWNSHIP — Youngstown State’s Colt McFadden will readily tell you that since being an athlete and the competitive nature of sports, he is now prepared for his current position as assistant athletic director for sales and development.

With parents who were former athletes, highly successful administrators and YSU Hall of Fame honorees in their own right — his father, Paul, was a standout placekicker for YSU who played six seasons in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons while his mother, Dianne (Rappach) Kosco, scored 1,198 points for her late head coach, Ed DiGregorio’s women’s basketball squad — he had a step up on some of his competition.

“I hit the jackpot with my parents and how sports impacted them from an early age. They passed those lessons on to me and for that I am most thankful,” McFadden told the Curbstone Coaches during Monday’s weekly meeting at Avion Banquet Center. “With their constant love and support for whatever I wanted to tackle in life, I am so grateful to have both in my life. The journey through my athletic career has allowed me to build a solid foundation, one I currently rely on and will continue to rely on for years to come.”

Like his father, McFadden was a standout placekicker during a stellar high school career at Poland, where he once booted a 50-yard field goal in a game. He then attended Kent State before finishing his collegiate career with the Penguins for head coach Doug Phillips.

“From a young age, I knew that I wanted to be involved in sports in some way, shape or form,” McFadden said. “I will always have an appreciation for Poland because they provided me with that foundation. Since my youth, kicking and football motivated me to work hard and improve each day. From the start of my college career when I walked on at Kent State University, to facing adversity and tough times for the first time in my life, I learned how to persevere and separate myself from so many gifted individuals.

“Returning home in 2019 to play for YSU was a dream come true and the single greatest decision of my life. From the day I stepped foot on the campus, my time here has been nothing but special. There are countless friendships, teammates and experiences that I will never forget, and I am forever grateful for my time at Youngstown State. I am beyond grateful for my career as a Penguin playing for coach Phillips.

“I came up short in realizing my dream of playing in the National Football League, but remain so very thankful that YSU wanted to keep me around. Working for the Penguin Club and giving back to the next generation of YSU student-athletes has been very fulfilling. (It’s) a role that has brought so many amazing people into my life.”

McFadden said playing sports teaches you to persevere with “no” never an option.

“The game of football gave me the motivation and passion to chase the best version of myself and to continue to be better than I was the day before,” McFadden said. “That constant drive to never let my teammates or fellow administrators down and represent my hometown the right way is what drives me each time I arrive for work.”

He feels blessed to be a part of Phillips’ early teams and to have laid the foundation under which current teams can thrive.

“I wasn’t part of many successful seasons in our football history, but during those years I think we understood the bigger picture, and that was to bring a historic football program back to the heights it deserves,” McFadden said. “It was one small step at a time, and it feels good to know that those who came after us would get to reap the rewards from those difficult years — years that laid the foundation for the next generation of players. That was the bigger picture and that was my mission at YSU, to lay the foundation.”

As a former student-athlete, McFadden understands an athletes’ mindset.

“I believe that all athletes go through difficult times when their careers come to an end,” he said. “It’s a period where you must start over, explore and then search for the things you are good at. I am still searching but excited for the future, (and) relying on what football has provided me.

“While I might not have made it to the NFL like my father, I know I gave everything I had to be the best I could be. Looking back on my career, there isn’t a single thing that I would change because I wanted to represent my family, my school and my hometown the right way.”

Next week, Paul Monroe, Trumbull County Sheriff, will serve as guest speaker.

Have an interesting story? Contact the Sports Department, at sports@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribChronSports.

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