By Joe Henricksen

Rick Malnati joins Loyola staff

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By Joe Henricksen

The Loyola basketball program continues to churn out news.

Riding the heels of five commitments in the past month, Loyola added a high-profile name and coach to its staff. Rick Malnati, the highly-successful coach at New Trier, officially joined coach Porter Moser's Loyola University basketball staff today. Malnati will serve various roles within the program as the assistant to the head coach.

"I think this is the right thing at the right time for me," says Malnati, who resigned as coach at New Trier following the 2007-2008 season. "It's a neat opportunity for me and I'm excited."

While Rodell Davis, Armon Gates and Jason Gardner are Moser's three assistant coaches, Malnati will play a key role on the Ramblers staff.

"My job is going to assist those assistants and try to make their lives easier," says Malnati. "I enjoy the relationships with kids, so that is a part I'm looking forward to. I will help in putting scouting reports together and support Porter in any way I can."

Malnati was always considered one of the elite high school coaches in the state of Illinois. He was named the City/Suburban Hoops Report Coach of the Year in 2002 and led the Trevians to the state quarterfinals in 2000 and a Class AA fourth-place finish in 2002. Malnati's Trevians stunned a Proviso East team that featured Dee Brown and Shannon Brown in the supersectional to highlight that 2002 season. New Trier also won a sectional title in 2005.

"This was a position I really wanted to have in our program," said Moser of the assistant to the head coach position. "And Rick was the guy I wanted to fill that role. I think he can be very valuable and prove to be an underrated asset for us."

Malnati had been looking to get back into coaching but only if it was the right fit. After spending time with Moser, the staff and seeing all that Loyola had to offer, the job piqued the interest of Malnati. And quickly, a place Malnati admits he never gave much thought to before became very intriguing.

"I met with Porter, we talked a lot, I liked the staff and saw all that was going on there with the improvements to the gym, facilities and university," says Malnati of his research into the job. "Everything Porter was saying made sense. And I think Porter saw through the no [college] experience and felt I could help the program."

Plus, Malnati loves the opportunity to help build a program and add to his basketball pedigree.

"This is a great opportunity to be a part of something different, to be involved in college basketball and to learn a lot of basketball along the way," Malnati pointed out. "It's a building situation, and I love when people doubt what you are capable of. Changing a culture is a huge challenge, but it's going to be fun."

For more on Loyola basketball go to the previous Hoops Report blog.

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Great addition for the Loyola staff. Another valuable basketball guy in addition to the coaching staff? Brilliant move.

He's one of the best high school coaches Illinois ever had. Great catch for Loyola!

Good for him he has tried to get the Loyola Academy, Evanston, UIC assistant, DePaul assistant and Northwestern assistant coaching job to no avail since resigning at NT. We should all be so lucky to be wealthy from the family business that at 50 years old with a family that you can take a D-1 job for little to no money after not having worked for the last few years.

Great move for loyola! His family Pizza business has nothing to do with his coaching. Get a life backslap!

Rick Malnati is one of the finest coaches in the state. As one area trainer said, " it would be an honor and privilege to play for Rick." He is a great coach and a spectacular teacher of the game.
Rick will bring a tremendous amount to the Loyola program.

I'm happy for Rick but depressed for all the New Trier kids still in the NT basketball program. If current coach and Malnati's replacement Scott Fricke ( who's idea was that anyway) ran a business like he runs the New Trier basketball program he would be in big big trouble, most likely out of business.

Aside from just not being a very good coach from a strategic perspective, he has no idea how to evaluate talent. He cuts too many back room deals with parents, and let's talented players and their families run roughshod over him and the entire NT program (see Connor Boehm & family)

When you look closely and see what Central Suburban teams like Deerfield, Niles West, and Highland Park accomplished last season with a fraction of the talent and student body population
that New Trier has, it's honestly an embarrassment for the entire NT b-ball program, especially the coaching staff that their teams do not accomplish more than they do with a school population close to 5000.

Dee1...Where did I say his families pizza business had to do with his coaching????? I said he can take this job because his family's business gives him the financial means to do different than if he were a former NBA player, millionaire stock broker or investment banker. How many 50 something year olds with a family do you know that get to take an entry level assistant to the head coach job (he is not even by NCAA rules allowed to coach or recruit in that position) in college basketball?? Those jobs usually go to to some 22 year old former player or manager because they usually pay about minimum wage and the guys get to live in the dorm and eat for free. If you read my post I said he has tried to get jobs he was qualified for based on his resume but no one would hire him for whatever reason. He is taking this job because it was offered and he is way too qualified for it and it is almost insulting he has to take a position like that. I give him props for pursuing his dream but really how many people could do that in that situation.

I played against Rick in high school; watched him coached many successful NT teams that brought out the best in kids; and his family makes a damn good pizza too! He's a great coach and will make the Loyola team better with his knowledge of the game and his ability to teach. Congrats Rick!

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Henricksen published on August 30, 2011 7:28 AM.

Big changes, recruiting have Loyola on uptick was the previous entry in this blog.

Okafor, Alexander, White highlight 2014 is the next entry in this blog.

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