by Cityballers.com Journalist – Lauralyn Welland Taylor
Coach Dave Malecki
The year 2010 marked a turning point in Cass Technical Football. It was the year that Coach Thomas Wilcher lead his football team to the brink of a state championship, and an almost undefeated season. It was also the first year that Coach Dave Malecki served as Cass Tech’s offensive coordinator. Since Malecki’s hiring in 2010, the CT football team has won 60 games, two State Division 1 championships, and has gone to the state semi-final round of the playoffs five straight years. Prior to Coach Malecki’s hiring, it took the team 11 seasons to win the 60 games that it has won since he took over the offense.
But Coach Mo, as the players like to call him, is quick to point out that he is not the sole reason for the team’s rise to victory, “It wasn’t just me. Wilcher brought in Coach Rosie [Paul Cochran] as well to compliment Coach Cash [Caldwell] and Defensive Coaches [Jermain] Crowell and Dennis Parker . All the pieces came together and we just meshed. Wilcher sometimes tries to take on every role himself, and he learned that he couldn’t do everything. So it was big for him to trust the offense to me.”
Prior to coaching at Cass, Malecki had a strong history coaching a spread offense as the offensive coordinator for Melvindale High School for six years, a team that had won the 2009 Division 3 District Championship and the 2007 Division 3 Regional Championship. Melvindale’s head coach was moving on from the team which left Coach Malecki open to a change as well.
Pieces to the Cass Tech coaching puzzle came together through Coach Dennis Parker, who had coached with Malecki briefly at Melvindale. He knew that Wilcher wanted an offensive coordinator who was strong with the spread offense and connected the two men together. Coach Mo, with his history as the offensive coordinator at Melvindale, four-year head coach for Riverview Gabriel Richard from 2000-2004, and four-year head coach for River Rouge High School from 1994-1998 was an ideal fit.
Dave Malecki’s mind is above average. As an attorney of law who graduated cum laude from Michigan State University’s College of Law, he is analytical beyond the scope of many. And because a law degree wasn’t challenging enough, Malecki also has a pharmacy degree from Ferris State University. The pairing of these two degrees makes him an ideal Hospital Contracting Executive for Humana, Inc.
So why coach football? “I love the game. I love the kids. I started the junior program at River Rouge years ago and have not stopped since. There is an old saying, ‘Kids don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ Once I started, I saw the influence I had on the kids and how I could positively impact them, and I was then impacted by them. And now look, Coaching gave me the chance to work with the 2010 Cass team, the best team I have ever coached, even though we didn’t win the [State] Championship that year. Coaching also put me into one of the greatest moments of my life when we won the 1st State Championship and made that historic walk back to Cass from Ford Field to see that the city was throwing a great big party for us in the parking lot. I give a lot, and I get a lot.”
Coach Mo has received coaching offers from other schools, but he has no desire to leave what he sees as an ideal fit. He and Thomas Wilcher work well together, understand each other, feed off of each other, and complement each other. He gets to give back to his community, stay connected to football, and work as an attorney all at the same time. His fit into the Cass Tech football puzzle is as perfectly as the Cass Tech football team fits in his life.