Veteran mentor leaves his mark on MCHS football program
By Alvin Richardson
Bill Malone has spent nearly all of his working years at Morgan County High School but this past week resigned as head football coach. The veteran teacher and coach came to Madison in 1994 as an assistant for Kenny Moore and graduated to the head coach position in 2007. Having just finished his 14th campaign at that post, Malone became the longest tenured head football coach in school history and it’s been a tenure that has continued Morgan County’s legacy of consistency on the field. Off the field Malone has proven himself to be a man of high character and one who cares deeply about his players and his school. His presence and steady hand will be sorely missed.
I talked with Malone this week about his resignation and here are some of his remarks.
Q – What was the major criteria that guided your decision to step down?
A – Most of all I wanted to be a daddy and not a coach to my son Key (Malone’s son was a starting linebacker on this past year’s team.) He will be a senior next year and I felt we needed the next 18 months to have a normal relationship. I also wanted to get us safely through Covid-19 season before I stepped away.
Q – Are you retiring completely from Morgan County High School?
A – Even though I’ve got over 30 years in I’m not planning to step away completely. At this point I’m planning to stay on in some capacity, the details of which are still being worked out.
Q – For the past 14 years you have been the head coach. What are you most proud of?
A – No doubt it’s the relationships and friendships that I’ve developed over that time. I have ex-players who are now my friends and had even begun to coach some of the sons of ex-players. Those kinds of relationships are priceless to me.
Q – What will you miss the most?
A – You know it’s funny but one thing that always sent tingles down my back was pregame warmups. The kids out there stretching, the band comes marching in and the crowd starting to filter in – that sort of thing. I’m also going to miss the camaraderie of staff meetings.
Q – What will you not miss?
A – Well, I think just about every coach will tell you the same thing. It has to do with parents who question your judgment when it comes to playing time for their kids. I’ve always considered myself a professional and those kinds of decisions were always made after many hours of observations on the practice field and consultation with the staff.
Q – Is Morgan County home for you and your family in the future?
A – As I said I’m going to still work in some capacity and my family and I consider Morgan County our home – period.
Q – What was the happiest moment(s) you can recall?
A – Right off the top of my head I’d say that the last minute win over Gordon Central in the first round of the state playoffs in 2012 (Morgan won 24-21) and this year’s win at Burke County (Morgan won 41-21). Those were two happy locker rooms.
Q – How would you like to be remembered?
A – To me the two best things a coach can be remembered for is that he was fair and that he was a good guy – a good man who was a worthy example for his players.
Q – Any final thoughts?
A – I just want everyone in the community to know what an honor it has been for me to be in this position. I am humbled by the fact that so many families entrusted their sons to my care and I want them all to know how much it meant to see them in the stands pulling for our team. Morgan County is a great place to work.
In his 14 seasons as head coach Malone compiled a record of 83-67 with nine trips to the state playoffs. He finishes with the third highest number of wins in school history behind Kenny Moore (92) and Wayne Bradshaw (86). His 2016 and 2017 teams won back-to-back region titles a feat that had not been accomplished since 2002-2003 under Moore. Prior to that the last Morgan County teams to win back-to-back region titles was in 1961-1962 under Bill Corry.
In Malone’s last 11 seasons the Bulldogs posted an overall record of 74-45 (.623) and in all his seasons provided Morgan County fans with a quality brand of football. Malone’s 2017 region title team set the school record for points per game (35.3) breaking the previous record set by his 2012 squad (31.8).