Marv Scott Coaches Award

Marco Malich

Marco Malich bleeds green.

Just ask his longtime friend and fellow coach Leland Smith. He said so.

That’s what happens when you play with distinction for four years at Peninsula High School (graduated in 1959), then go on to a 33-year career as coach of your alma mater, including a state runner-up finish and 435 victories.

 

That's just part of what makes Marco Malich, born in 1941 in Tacoma, a Marv Scott Coaches Award winner.

 

Start with the high school resume: Four years of baseball, including a .350 batting average and 11 home runs as a senior captain playing pitcher, catcher and outfielder; four years of basketball, including a senior season as captain; and three years of football for the Seahawks.

 

Add to that a year of playing semi-pro baseball in Alaska with the Ketchikan All-Stars, 10 years of batting .450 for the Heidelberg slow-pitch softball team and a fifth-place finish at the 1968 ASA (Amateur Softball Association) nationals at Jones Beach, N.Y., and so many all-star selections that Malich loses count.

 

Stir in his community involvement: five years with Peninsula Athletic Association; six years with Peninsula Youth Football, including four years on the board of directors; four years of coaching baseball at Goodman Middle School; and 20 years as an assistant football coach at Peninsula High School.

 

All that adds up to a WIAA Hall of Fame coach (inducted in 2013) who took his team to the playoffs 15 times and was named state coach of the year in 2006, when the Seahawks played at Safeco Field and finished second.

 

Malich start coaching with that stint at Goodman, a volunteer in charge of seventh and eighth graders. "The final year they paid me," he told Ric Hallock of the Kitsap Sun for a story published in 2013.

 

He got the opportunity to coach Peninsula because Gig Harbor High School opened in 1979 and all the Peninsula coaches moved to the Tides.  His first team was filled with kids he had coached in middle school. "The second year we won one game," Malich said. The team improved to .500 in his third season and every year after until 2008 they were .500 or better. His teams reached regionals 16 times and won 15 league championships.

 

Now he finds it difficult to stay out of the dugout. But he looks forward to playing on the Heidelberg senior team when he turns 75.

 

Meanwhile, retirement gives him and Sandi, a fellow Peninsula grad and his companion of more than 50 years, time with their four grown children and "tons of grandchildren."

 

They now have time to attend fastpich games at Gig Harbor High School, where two granddaughters play.

 

But, "He said there's no way he's not wearing his Peninsula hat," Sandi said.

 

That's what happens when you spend decades at one school shaping a Marv Scott Coaches Award career.