Ikaika Malloe has been hired as UW's next defensive line coach and he couldn't be more excited to return to "where it all began"

On Monday it was announced that former Husky linebacker Ikaika Malloe would be joining the staff to replace Jeff Choate. After a whirlwind interview process earlier this month, he accepted and he couldn't be more excited to return to Montlake...

"Washington is where it all began for me," Malloe told Dawgman.com shortly after landing in Hawaii where he will spend the next week with his family. "Everything I became as a player and all of the values I have as a man and a coach, it was all formed there under men like coach (Jim) Lambright, coach (Randy) Hart and coach (Keith) Gilbertson.

"They taught me about work ethic and how to be a good teammate and coach and the things you should expect from your players and that is what I try to focus on every day and what I feel like I will bring with me when I get back up there."

Utah State finished their regular season on November 28th and a little over a week later, Malloe got a phone call.

"Coach (Chris) Petersen had called my head coach (Matt Wells) because he's a stand up guy and he wanted to go through the program channels," Malloe recalled. "I was out in Arizona recruiting when I got the call from my head coach saying that coach Petersen wanted to talk to me about an opportunity to come up and coach the defensive line.

"I was in shock. As coaches, we get so focused on the task in front of us, I was just sort of in that mode, so when I got the call I was just blown away that they would even consider me.

"After that, it sorta went pretty quick. I flew up to Seattle and interviewed and met most of the staff and even coach Choate took the time to introduce himself to me and go over some of the guys real quickly. 

"Him taking the time to spend with me, the guy who at that time may be the guy replacing him, that just shows how great of a man he is and the respect he has, both for coach Petersen, but also for the program too. It just showed me what type of a man I already knew he was, but it just reinforced it to me."

After he was informed that he was the man for the job, Malloe said he and his wife Tara, had the same reaction.

"Initially, she had the same reaction I did -- really excited," Malloe said with a bit of a chuckle before adding, "but that's when reality set in...'we have to move again'.

"She and I are both from Hawaii, but she graduated from Washington too, so it's like returning home for us, but then when the reality sets in that you have to move again, that's sorta hard to wrap your head around.

"Without her by my side and holding things down at home, selling the house, packing things up, getting the kids situated, then unpacking and all the while, I'm coaching football and recruiting, I'm not going to lie, it's hard, but she loves it and I couldn't think of a better person to have by my side and handling that stuff at home. 

"She makes my life at home so much easier so I can focus on our kids and spending time with them, but also on spending time doing what I do as a football coach. 

"It's a crazy life and it's not easy, but I love every bit of it and she is right there by my side supporting me and that's through seven moves, so hopefully we won't have to move for a while."

The toll on the family can be tough and oftentimes is overlooked.

"My daugher Taylor (17), she's my oldest, and this will be her third high school," Malloe noted. "That's not easy, but she's tough and she can handle it.

"My sons are both younger -- Isaiah is my youngest and he's 12 and Jordan is the middle guy and he's 15 -- and they are tough kids too, so we'll make that move and I think they'll adjust pretty well."

As far as the team is concerned, Malloe said he might not know everything, but make no mistake, he's been keeping tabs on his alma mater.

"I haven't seen every game, but I have seen most of their games every year since I left," Malloe said. "I know all about the program and what it stands for and coach Petersen is installing the same type of program and mentality there that coach (Don) James did all of those years ago.

"No offense to any of the coaches who came in before coach Petersen, but that culture there, it's a blue-collar mentality. You come to work your tail off every day and you sacrifice yourself and your interests for the common good and what is best for the team.

"The approaches are the same and with the players they have there, they have some really good ones there and some young guys that I'll get to know better, but they have a great foundation there and I'm really excited about what is being built. 

"The program can really do some big things and I think those are just around the corner, but we have to get to work and make the progress. It's a process and I'm heading there ready to help out in any way that I can. 

"I can't wait to get back there because I bleed purple and gold and it's an exciting time to be a Husky."

Malloe will spend the next 10 days spending time with friends and family in Hawaii before he returns to Seattle on January 3rd to begin his new career as Washington's defensive line coach.

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