Longtime prep coach to become varsity boys coach at Fenwick High School
After spending last season as a special assistant/advisor to the head coach at Loyola University Chicago, Rick Malnati enters his first season as an assistant coach on Porter Moser's staff. The former head boys basketball coach at New Trier High School in suburban Wilmette, Ill., Malnati was a highly successful coach for the Trevians from 1996-2008.
Last year, in his role as special assistant/advisor to the head coach, Malnati's experience and expertise proved to be invaluable in the areas of film breakdown, practice planning and scouting.
"Rick has a tremendous knowledge of and feel for the game of basketball," Moser said. "When he was at New Trier High School, Rick was one of the most well-respected and successful coaches in the state. He is an Illinois guy through and through and is a tremendous asset to our program."
During the 2011-12 season, Malnati's first at Loyola, the Ramblers laid the foundation for future success. Forward Ben Averkamp blossomed into one of the top big men in the Horizon League, averaging 15.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game en route to Second Team All-Horizon League accolades as he became the program's first all-conference player since 2007. In addition, Walt Gibler became only the 18th player in Loyola's storied history to accumulate 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for his career.
Off the court, the Averkamp and Gibler were recognized for their excellence in the classroom with both student-athletes earning I-AAA Men's Basketball All-Academic, National Jesuit Men's Basketball All-Academic Team and Horizon League Men's Basketball All-Academic Team honors. Averkamp also collected Capital One First Team Academic All-District V recognition and Gibler became the first Loyola student-athlete since 2004 to garner the prestigious Cecil N. Coleman Medal of Honor which is award annually by the Horizon League. Widely regarded as a master at getting the most out of his players, Malnati's offensive system at New Trier maximized the three-point shot. One of the Trevians' most notable accomplishments under Malnati's watch was a 2002 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Super-Sectional Round victory over a Proviso East High School team that featured eventual NBA players Dee Brown and Shannon Brown. New Trier would go on to finish fourth in the IHSA Class AA tournament that season.
Malnati's numerous accomplishments include being selected as the top high school coach in the state of Illinois by City-Suburban Hoops Report in 2008, earning Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year honors in 2000, 2002 and 2005, and being tabbed as a Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Magazine in 1995. Under Malnati's watch, New Trier was rated as the fifth-most successful boys basketball program in the state of Illinois by the Essig Report, for the period beginning in 1996 and ending in 2008.
He also has served as a head coach for the 2003 EA Sports Roundball Classic and for the 2000 Wendy's All-Star Shootout.
A standout player at New Trier West during his high school days, Malnati went on to play point guard at Bradley University before working in the family business - Lou Malnati's Pizzerias.