Christopher Mallette leaves Whitney Young for Hope Academy

Young coach Chris Mallette talks to Amir Abdullah. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Young coach Chris Mallette talks to Amir Abdullah. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Christopher Mallette, who took over the resurrected football program at Whitney Young last season, has resigned as head football coach according to principal Joyce Kenner.

Mallette led the Dolphins to an 8-0 record last season. He will move to Hope Academy and become the head football coach, athletic director and directory of community relations and outreach.

“I’m excited,” Mallette said. “It is a great fit for me. I will miss Young. I love Young and the culture we built. I think we did it the right way. We had no transfers, no special recruits. We did it with who is in the building. Thirty-two of the 45 players had never put on pads before.”

Mallette took over at Young from Tim Franken, who led the program for 23 years. The Dolphins forfeited the season in 2017 and Mallette took over in 2018.

Mallette did not have a full-time position at Young.

“With the love I have of coaching there was a great desire to be in the school I was coaching at,” Mallette said. “I’ve never had that luxury.”

Mallette will have a new challenge at Hope Academy. The school was left behind by the Catholic League when it merged with the East Suburban Catholic to create a football superconference.

“We are working on the schedule,” Mallette said. “We have some games on there. It is an incredible challenge on a number of levels. Hey look, just keep stacking the deck against us. I’m the type of guy that as long as my heart is beating and there is air coming in and out of my lungs I think we have a shot.”

Mallette will take over for Matt Kelly, who was 33-11 in four seasons leading the Eagles.

Young coach Chris Mallette talks to his players. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Chris Mallette talks to his players at Young. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

“We had a shortlist of people we thought were a fit for Hope and Chris was at the top of that shortlist,” Hope Academy President Walther Johnson said. “We had some great conversations with him and are happy to have him on the team.”

Kelly will head back to his alma mater, Brother Rice, and take an administrative position.

“Having Matt here moved us from having a good team to creating a good program,” Johnson said. “That’s ultimately what we were after.”

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