Badin football coaching legend Terry Malone dies

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-15 16:00:42-05

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Terry Malone, one of Ohio's winningest high school football coaches, has died.

Badin High School announced Malone's death Saturday. He spent time as a history teacher and athletic director at Badin even after he retired from coaching in 2003.

During his 45-year career, Malone went 360-117-8, coaching seven unbeaten regular seasons. In 14 other seasons, his teams lost just once.

Malone got to the playoffs 16 times, and he led Badin to the Ohio Division III crown in 1990 after finishing runner up in 1978 and 1980.


Malone was the winningest coach in the history of Ohio high school football when he retired, and he had 360 victories in 45 years and a 1990 Division III state football title to show for it. Photo courtesy of Cathy Malone.

When he retired at the end of the 2003 season, Malone was the all-time winningest coach in Ohio high school football history. Today, he ranks second, behind only Ironton's Bob Lutz.

Steve Klonne, Moeller High School football coach, said Malone was an “icon” for bringing home a championship title -- the first and only for Badin -- in 1990.

WATCH the video below, which contains footage from the WCPO Vault of the 1990 championship game.


Part of Malone's career was spent coaching at Hamilton Catholic, which merged with Notre Dame High School to form Badin in 1966. The cherished coach also was a Xavier University alumnus and played linebacker and fullback for the Musketeers.

"I'd say his legacy lies in his family first, children and grandchildren, then his students and players, then the overall Badin community, then the local, state and national high school football coaching community -- for which he set the bar as high as anyone has ever set it with 360 wins," former Badin coach David Wirth said.

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Wirth, who was recently named the Purcell Marian coach, was hired as only the second coach ever at Badin and quickly went to work trying to end the four-year Greater Catholic League losing streak he inherited.

The hard work paid off as his Rams went on to end the losing streak and turn the tide, winning two out of the next three GCL Central Championships (2006 and 2008) while also making a significant playoff run in 2008, losing to eventual State Champion Kettering Alter.

When it comes to football coaching standards, Wirth said Malone was “revered.”

"I think he brought an air of humility,” Wirth said. “It was never about Coach Malone. It was always about the kids."

In addition to coaching, Badin High School Principal Brian Pendergest said Malone also worked as a teacher.

“Everybody thinks of Terry as a football coach,” Pendergest said. “But he was first and foremost a teacher. He took a lot of pride in teaching. Terry Malone put Badin High School on the map – it’s as simple as that.”

Terry Malone is hoisted onto his players’ shoulders after he concluded his coaching career with a 45-7 win over North College Hill in 2003. Photo courtesy of Badin High School.

Longtime Lakota West coach Larry Cox, a 1982 Badin graduate, played for Malone and coached the freshmen team while Malone was there in the mid-1980s.

"As a player you put him on this pedestal," said Cox, who just completed his 20th season in West Chester. "It was the closest thing to walking near the Pope from a football perspective. It was different when you were a coach. It's something that I will treasure forever. I don't think there is a coach that got the absolute most out of his kids like coach Malone. It sort of drove me as a coach."

Cox said Malone was always politically correct by today's standards but didn't strive for that. He commanded respect from his players at all times and wanted them to succeed and become men. Malone challenged his players to go above and beyond. Cox said Malone was one of the greatest influences on his football coaching career and in life outside the game.

"He's John Wayne. A man's man," Cox said. "His legacy obviously is going to far outlive him."

Wirth agrees Malone’s impact goes far beyond the game of football.

"He's really touched a lot of lives,” Wirth said. “When you get out in that community and you get to know the people there, you realize that football accomplishments was just the tip of the iceberg with Coach Malone."

This story contains prior reporting by Rob Ellington of