Duane Malloy hired as Salem boys’ basketball coach

George Browning

Duane Malloy spent four years coaching the Salem High School junior varsity team under former varsity head coach Hank Weedin. On June 29, he was offered the varsity position.

“They asked me if I was interested and I talked to my wife Jamie and she was pretty supportive,” he said. “I knew right away it was something I wanted to do.”

Malloy said there were a few details that had to be ironed out, but everything fell into place and at the school board’s regular meeting July 12, it became official.

Malloy said he spent some time over the past two weeks on vacation and he was distracted thinking about the new position.

“On vacation, it seemed like all I could think about was things I need to do and things I need to put in place and things I need to do to be successful,” Malloy said.

The priorities out of the gate for Malloy are to assemble a staff. At the time of this interview he already had one assistant, Cameron Smith, but said he wants to build the rest of his staff.

Secondly, he said he wants to meet with his team.

“Job number one is get the staff assembled,” Malloy said. “(This week) we are having a camp for kids in grades one through six, because I think we have to get our younger kids playing.

“In the evenings, we have open gyms for the boys, get them going up and down the court.

“I also want to do some recruiting. We have kids in the hallway who need to be playing, who aren’t. They can really help the program.”

Outside of that, the approach heading into this season is going to be simple. Malloy said he is going to ask his players for just two things -- “Be willing to work hard and learn.”

“Those aren’t things we always like to do, but they are things all of us have to do in our lives in order to be productive and successful,” he said.

Those are two things Malloy knows about personally. He left a great paying job at Ford Motor Company at 40 years old to pursue a career in teaching.

“I always loved hearing my wife’s stories about teaching,” he said. “I also loved working with kids. I feel like God has had his hand on me in that.”

At 43, he took his first teaching job. Now, he is ready to embark on a new coaching adventure.

He said he didn’t get the usual familiarity from coaching the Salem boys during the June summer league, but he did get to see them play. He said he spent time as a referee and took in a number of the Lions’ games.

“I was able to watch them a lot over the summer,” he said. “I officiated probably 50 games at a lot of different tournaments, so I saw a lot of our boys’ games. I don’t think not coaching them this summer is too big a disadvantage.”

In addition to his time as the junior varsity coach, Malloy also coached high school softball as an assistant and was head coach for the varsity softball team for five seasons. He also coached a number of years in Salem’s middle school program. Malloy also coached varsity cross country.

Malloy said he brings all of that coaching experience to the Salem sideline with him as well as some of a little bit of every coach he has every worked with. “My high school coach was a big influence on me,” he said. “I also take stuff from every coach I’ve been around. There is stuff I took from Greg Dean at West Washington and some stuff from Hank Weedin. You take that stuff and then you take your own stuff and mold it into your own coaching philosophy and ideas. I am also old school and take a lot from coach Bob Knight. Did I learn directly from him? No, but I still am able to glean some things from the way he coached.”

Malloy and his wife Jamie both teach at Salem Community Schools and their daughters Whitney and Ashley graduated from SHS.

They also have two grandkids, Bear Jefferson and Wolf Allen Williams.


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