Huskies Ikaika Malloe “this program is about the players”

For the newly promoted  Husky co-defensive coordinator Ikaika Malloe the program has always been about family.  During Friday’s media conference call, Malloe conveyed what it was like to leave Hawai’i and attend the University of Washington.

“Coach Lambright was the coach who was recruiting Hawaii (when I played), and the Polynesian families really knew about him and he welcomed our culture,” Malloe said. “So he was kind of the father figure away from Hawaii. That’s what all of the local boys (from Hawaii) would treat him as. He had that disciplinarian type of attitude, but at the same time, he could love on you when needed. Because of that, his passing (last month at age 77) really hit me hard.”

The compassion Malloe received from Lambright, Don James and Randy Hart left an indelible imprint on his coaching philosophy. Coaches can be a lot things to the players on and off the field.


After his playing career was over  Malloe began his coaching career at UW. First as a student assistant, then program coordinator and eventually a graduate assistant from 1997-2000. From 2001-2008 Malloe honed his coaching skills with stops at  Western Illinois (2001-2003), UTEP ( 2004-2007) and Hawai’i in 2008. From 2009-2011 Malloe was the Yale Defensive Coordinator. He moved to Portland State in 2012-2013 as the Specials Teams Coordinator/ Defensive Tackles coach.


Malloe moved to Utah State in 2014 and it was there that his ability to coach became abundantly clear. The 2014 Aggie team featured a rugged defense that finished in the top 30 in the nation in 10 categories.

USU also led the conference in rushing defense, sacks and tackles for loss. Three defensive lineman from the team earned All-Mountain West honors (a first-teamer, a second-team and an honorable mention).


Malloe returned to Washington in 2016 as the Dline coach.  In his first season back  Malloe helped coach a Husky defensive unit that topped the Pac -12 with a 12-2 record and earned a trip to the College Football Playoff.

 In 2017 Malloe coached a defensive line that was anchored by Vita Vea who earned Pac-12 Defensive  Player of the Year.

The 2018 Husky defense led the Pac-12 in both scoring and total defense for the fourth year in a row.  In 2019  the Huskies lost their national ranking but just managed to limit an opponent to just 19.4 points per game. Levi Onwuzurike was named first-team All-Pac 12 and the return of the standout d-lineman is sure to help Malloe with his new title.

Malloe on the Huskies coaching philosophy.

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