KWC FOOTBALL | Malik Malone Is A True "Player's Coach"

11/06/2017 01:25 PM

Mike and Malik Malone had played side by side as long as they could remember; Malik played middle linebacker and Mike was the weak-side linebacker.

“It was kind of like if I wasn’t on the play, I knew he would be on the play so it was always a good thing playing with him,” Malik said of his brother.

Now days you’ll only see one Malone twin suited up for the Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers.

“We were celebrating a big play and I seen him on the ground and I was like ‘I know he’s not hurt. He’s about to get up, I know he’s bout to get up,’” Mike explained.

Malik didn’t get back up, though.

“I tore my patella tendon, which was a career ending injury. He said it would be best for me not to ever play again,” Malik recalled.

It was a tough blow, but luckily, Malik had thought about life after his playing days.

“I can remember them sitting in their coaches office at Male High School and I always ask young men when we recruit them, you know, ‘what do you see yourself doing down the road?’ you know with college coming up and Malik said ‘coach, I want to do what you’re doing right now’, so we told him the opportunities would be there once he finished school, and unfortunately for him, he didn’t finish his playing career, but we wanted to make sure that he was able to live that dream,” Head Coach Brent Holsclaw recalled.

“I always knew that I wanted to coach but I didn’t know that I would get in the field that early, so it was a blessing in disguise I would say,” Malik added.

Malik began his coaching career as a student coach his junior season. Now a senior, he’s beginning to settle in as a coach rather than a player.

“When Malik was hurt- I wanted to make sure, because he was on scholarship, that the injury didn’t hamper his ability to finish school financially, so his way of making sure he’s doing his side of the scholarship, we felt like it would be really cool to have him as one of our assistant coaches,” Holsclaw explained.

The team accepted him as a coach immediately.

“When Malik first got hurt, automatically he just transferred into a coach, so I gave him that respect, because he’s my brother, so I think everybody on the team gives him that respect as a coach because he takes his job so seriously,” said Avery Haynes, a high school and college teammate.

Malik is the linebackers coach and he said sometimes it can feel odd telling his brother and people his age what to do, but he’s getting used to it.

“It is kind of weird because I’m usually used to us being on the same level, but he took it well and it makes it easier for the guys to understand, because he knows what I want as a player and as a coach, so he was kind of demonstrating everything and how I wanted it done so it was really an easy transition,” Malik told Spectrum News.

Mike, the older brother by just over an hour, still finds it funny.

“Yeah I always play with him and call him coach and stuff, but he’s getting used to it now so it ain’t as funny anymore.”

“I’ve seen Malik get on Mike a few times- during camp especially when it’s real hot and heavy football, football, football, so that was kind of fun to watch a little bit, but for the most part they’re brothers and that’s what they do. They lean on each other, they support each other, and that’s what our program is about,” Holsclaw added.

Both Malik and Mike are set to graduate in May and each are applying for graduate assistant positions in hopes they can both be on the sideline next season.

The Panthers sit at 2-7 right now and hope to rebound this weekend in the final game of the season as they host Alderson Broaddus at 1:00 P.M. central.

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