Texas High graduate Mallett says next step: White Hall

Once the news broke that Texas High graduate Ryan Mallett was named head football coach at White Hall High School, his bell rang all night long.

“I couldn’t sleep,” said the 33-year-old.

White Hall, the 5A state runner-up, had just made a home run hire to the former University of Arkansas quarterback who was most recently offensive coordinator at 6A Mountain Home. It’s the first head coaching gig for Mallett, who said he’s looking to advance in his young career after seven years playing in the NFL.

“First, I know they have kids who can play,” said Mallett, who was Texas Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 and was ranked No. 2 and No. 4 quarterback overall. of the country by Rivals. com. “I always knew I was going to make it [become a head coach]. It’s a good school and a good opportunity, and the facilities are amazing.”

White Hall is in the midst of a $26 million facility addition, including a multipurpose building that opened for the football team at the start of this school year and a high school fine arts center.

Mallett, a health instructor at Mountain Home, said he needed to discuss more details with White Hall School District Superintendent Doug Dorris about when he could start and what he would teach, but the Razorback has big plans to get there in time for spring football.

“He showed me that he wanted to come here and turn a program around,” Dorris said. “What everyone needs to understand is that next year on paper will be a lean year, when you lose 28 seniors and 10 in defence. I think he can help turn the tide.”

White Hall went 11-3 and lost to Pulaski Academy in the 5A title match. Bobby Bolding resigned as Bulldogs coach after three seasons, but Dorris said he would offer Bolding the chance to stay on as athletic director with different duties.

Hired from Mountain Home in April 2020, Mallett and coach Steve Ary were instrumental in turning around a Bombers program that had lost 23 straight games before defeating Nettleton in the second week of this season. The Bombers finished 6-5, beating Pine Bluff in the first round of the 6A playoffs before losing to Greenwood.

Mountain Home went 4-8 in 2021, but a 2-5 mark in the 6A West was enough to get the Bombers back into the playoffs. They rewarded themselves by knocking down Sylvan Hills in the first round before colliding with Greenwood again.

“We really got them interested in switching attacks, spreading and throwing the ball,” Mallett said, adding that the Bombers had run a Wing-T and Dead-T offense before. “Guys reacted to that, and it made it easier for them to buy in.”

Mallett would like to bring spread offense and front-four defensive concepts to White Hall, but said he needed to find his assistant coaches before committing to any scheme.

“I really want to play to the strengths of who we have,” Mallett said. “We’re going to take it from there and see what we have. We’re running the ball, but we’re going to throw this thing in the court. We’re going to go back to the basics, but you have to start with the foundations.”

Mallett is from a group of six interviewees, three of whom spoke face-to-face with school officials. Dorris said the school board chose one of two finalists, after the third dropped out.

“His attitude, his reputation, all of his credentials were outstanding,” said board chairman Dr. Raymond Jones. “He looks like a young man who can help grow our program with a lot of potential. He’s going to get into a tough spot with a lot of seniors graduating now, but he’s just the type of person you want from a team perspective. the personality. “


Profile of Ryan Mallet

• Age: 33 (born June 5, 1988)

• Hometown: Texarkana, Texas

• Family: Single

• Playing career: Texas High School (2004-06), 7,879 passing yards and 72 touchdowns with 19 interceptions; University of Michigan (2007) and University of Arkansas (2009-10), 8,385 passing yards and 69 touchdowns with 24 interceptions; New England Patriots (2011-13), Houston Texans (2014-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2015-17); 1,835 yards and 9 touchdowns with 10 interceptions

• Coaching career: Mountain Home High School (2020-21), assistant who was last offensive coordinator

Texas High quarterback Ryan Mallett reacts after a playoff during the fourth quarter of the Tiger’s game against North Crowley High School on Friday December 6, 2003. At Texas Stadium in Dallas. (Photo from staff file)


Mountain Home offensive coordinator Ryan Mallett during Friday night’s game against Benton at Panther Stadium in Benton. The Texas High graduate will lead the program for the 2022-23 season. (Photo by Jimmy Jones/Special for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)


Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett screams after running in for a touchdown against South Carolina on Saturday November 7, 2009 at Reynolds Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. (Photo by William Moore/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

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