Mike Malott never really thought about being the Blanchester High School varsity boys basketball coach in the wake of Adam Weber’s resignation after nine years.
Then, as the summer and basketball related activities rolled on, Malott’s interest in being the head coach began to grow.
Finally, he relented and went with his gut.
“I did not consider the varsity position when it opened,” said Malott, a 1996 graduate of Blanchester High School. “I planned to come back as an assistant coach this year. As we got later in the summer I began to think seriously about the varsity position. After several conversations with (athletic director) Mr. (Brad) Ballinger, I let him know I would take the position if he and the school determined it was best for the program.”
Malott was officially hired at Tuesday’s meeting of the Blanchester Board of Education.
”Just very excited to get going,” said Malott, who played four years of basketball and four years of football at BHS.
Malott and his wife have two boys, one who graduated BHS in 2018 and another who will be a sophomore this coming school year.
Malott was never interested in coaching in high school. His mom coached his youth soccer team and “that experience certainly influenced my willingness to help when my boys needed a coach.”
Still, he had plenty to keep him busy as the owner of two businesses — insurance as well as electrical contracting.
But when his oldest son was in the fourth grade and a friend ask Malott if he’d help out, Malott agreed.
The rest, using the well-worn cliche, is history.
“That sparked my passion for coaching,” he admitted. “I coached for two years and was blown away by how much I loved it. I loved working with the kids and teaching them the game (of basketball).”
Malott’s coaching progression within the Blanchester school district has been steady. He began coaching youth in 2010 then joined the school’s junior high staff in 2019 as seventh grade coach when Tom Greve retired. The next year, Malott moved up to the eighth grade when Ballinger took over as the athletic director.
This past school year, he took the step up to freshman boys.
Malott said he wants his varsity Wildcats to “play with pace on offense and push the ball. In the half court, it will be constant player and ball movement. We will mix up our defenses based on matchups. My teams have always had good chemistry and that will remain a focus,” he said.