By Carolyn Marnon and Ryan Wright – Married 14 years to his middle-school sweetheart, Jason Malloy and his wife, Ornella, have been together since middle school. They have two daughters, Ariana (age 11) and Jada (age 9). “I love my family. I love spending time with them. I love being a husband and a father,” says Jason as he opens up about himself to share a bit about himself with the community.
Jason is the new Athletic Director at Wayne Memorial High School. Prior to this position, he was the athletic director at Robichaud High School in Dearborn Heights. He also served there as head football coach. His career started in 2005 as assistant coach/defensive coordinator at Robichaud. He went on to coach at Ypsi Lincoln, was assistant head coach at Ann Arbor Pioneer, became head coach at Ypsi High School and then took an opportunity to coach at Concordia University and Wayne State as an assistant defensive line coach.
Graduating from Western Michigan University with an elementary education background, Jason has been a 5th grade teacher. “It was a great opportunity for me. I love kids, and I love impacting kids. I just felt like I began to grow outside of the classroom as a coach, and I wanted my impact to be much larger and with the kids that I was working with on the football field.” When he got the opportunity to get his master’s degree in Sports Administration, he was able to go back to Robichaud. “I was able to help change the culture, the mindset. Some of the facilities we were able to renovate some things and just put a new face on Robichaud….We started an Athletic Hall of Fame there which was phenomenal, not only for the great athletes from there, but it was phenomenal for our community we were able to just draw back our alumni to want to be a part of the things that we were doing in the Athletic Department. So it was a great learning curve me as an athletic director putting some of the things that I have done in the past as a football coach to work as an athletic director, just kind of see the change in the direction we were going in.
“I had an opportunity to go to Southfield High School as an assistant AD.” He was soon able to take over as the AD which he says was a great opportunity for him. “One of the top schools in the state of Michigan where we were again able to change some facilities around. Our girls program went to the state finals and we were able to do a lot of great things at Southfield.”
“What drew me to Wayne Memorial was the opportunity to come back close to home. Me growing up in this area, living in the area, close to the area, gives me an opportunity to be really vested in the community.” He goes on to say, “it’s an exciting time. The kids are awesome. When you have someone like Greg Ambrose (the former Athletic Director at WMHS) who has been here for a while now gives me an opportunity to come into what he’s already established. I think through my experience, there are some things that I can put in place that I can just add to the experience of our sports program, so we have a solid foundation here. I’m just excited to be here and to put my stamp on the athletic program in the community.”
Jason has found the staff to be “awesome” and very welcoming. “I can tell the culture here is a very friendly culture and welcoming. The kids have been awesome in their offseason training. They’ve been working hard.” He’s excited to be part of the long tradition of the Zebra family.
In the short-term, Jason would like the Zebra athletic program to be recognized as competitive. He also wants to build great relationships with the student athletes, the parents and the community. “I’m a relationship person. One of my favorite quotes is ‘They don’t care what you know until they know that you care.’” He wants the kids to understand that being a student athlete does more for them than just playing the sport. “I’m always calling myself a life coach. I’m one of the biggest competitors you may ever meet. If we’re playing one-on-one or throwing paper in a basket, I’m trying to win, but ultimately that’s not what we’re trying to do with our student-athletes. We’re trying to prepare them for life. To be better husbands and better wives and better, you know, granddaughters and daughters. Those are the things that we hope to instill through sports.”
Jason’s job as athletic director, he says, is to coach the coaches up so they can maximize their potential to reach the student athletes and to build relationships. He wants everyone to know that when you come to play Wayne Memorial, “we are going to compete.”
Long-term, Jason wants to be sending student athletes to college on scholarships. He wants to position them to go to two-year or four-year schools with the character foundation of hard work learned through athletics. “Our job is to teach them to be a holistic student.”
When he’s not working, Jason loves to fish, an activity he took up a few years ago. He finds the water relaxing. He loves the challenge of trying to find what kind of bait he needs and what he needs to do to try to catch the fish. “Sometimes not even catching a fish is good as well.”
Another cornerstone of his life is working with the youth at his church. “I believe that God has led me in the position that I am in to impact young people not only in the church, but in the school. I really value my position.