Lawrence North High School athletic director Grant Nesbit describes Patrick Mallory's personality as magnetic. Mallory, a former Indiana University offensive lineman who coached Knightstown the past two seasons, will need that charisma to turn around the Wildcats' struggling football program. Mallory's hiring is pending school board approval at the Dec. 17 meeting.
The Wildcats were 0-10, losing five games by 59 or more points last season. Tom Dilley resigned afterward, finishing with a 45-61 record in 10 seasons. Several players have chosen to play at Lawrence Central, which captured the Class 5A state championship last month. Marion County has open enrollment for its public schools.
"He's very kid-oriented," Nesbit said of Mallory. "He spent two hours in our cafeteria and the majority of that time, he was surrounded by students. His enthusiasm was and is contagious. We believe he is just the individual to get the program to where it needs to be."
Mallory, who was 14-8 in two seasons at Knightstown, said his goal is to be known in the school and the community. He said his successes rely on his relationships.
"I've always tried to reach out to the parents, the kids and anyone involved with the school," Mallory said. "It takes relationships. It doesn't matter what you know, it's how you can react to your kids and your parents. I'm going to be a players' coach. They're going to know they can come to me at any time. I'll be anything the kids need to succeed."
Nesbit added: "The numbers (in the program) were low when he got to Knightstown, and he tripled them. He also started a youth program."
Mallory previously was a Center Grove assistant for 10 seasons.
"He has a complete understanding of how competitive our conference is week-in and week-out," Nesbit said.
Mallory said the key will be to maximize the talent the team does have.
"Everybody has the same speed, same talents, the same size, it's what you do with that talent," Mallory said. "Instead of worrying 'I don't have as good a talent as the next group,' you need to maximize the talent you have."
Mallory, 35, arrived at IU as a walk-on but earned a scholarship after his freshman season in 1996. The Mt. Vernon graduate concluded his IU career in 1999.
Center Grove promoted girls soccer assistant coach Mike Bishop to head coach. Bishop replaces Todd Sheely, who resigned to take over the Trojans boys soccer coach. Phil Orlando retired after leading the boys to a semistate appearance this fall. Bishop was the junior varsity girls coach the previous nine seasons, recording a record of 84-30-23. . . . Brebeuf Jesuit named Adam Abubakr as boys golf coach, replacing Ryan Brammer. The Braves won state titles in 2010 and '11 and were runners-up in June. Abubakr had been an assistant boys soccer coach at Westfield and assistant soccer coach and varsity assistant basketball coach at Muncie Burris. . . . Carmel football coach Kevin Wright will be an assistant coach at the U.S. Army All-American game Jan. 5 in San Antonio. Fort Wayne Luers LB Jaylon Smith, the 2012 Indiana Mr. Football, and Warren Central LB Tim Kimbrough will represent Indiana in the game.