UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Scranton Athletic Director Jeff Mallas was named to the Robert J. Scannell Roll of Honor at the PSUAC's annual awards luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. The honor is bestowed upon an athletics administrator, coach, faculty or staff member who has served Commonwealth Campus athletics, intramurals and recration programs with distinction.
Below is an excerpt from Mallas' nomination, submitted by athletic department staff at Scranton.
"If there is one person at Penn State Scranton who truly “Bleeds Blue and White” it’s Athletic Director, Jeff Mallas. As a 1975 graduate of Penn State University, Jeff has been a strong supporter of Penn State and athletics, serving the university through non-profit work, coaching, teaching, and administration.
Not many people get to see Jeff’s work for Penn State beyond the Multi-Purpose Building where we are located, but this is a man whose life embodies the definition of Penn State Pride. Every day Jeff is a Penn Stater in everything he does and the scope of his dedication to the University is far reaching. Looking back on the last forty years, from his time as a student-athlete at the Scranton campus, to his current status as an Athletic Director Jeff has done more than fill a position, rather he changed the lives of students, athletes and even the campus community.
Currently serving as the president of the Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter, Jeff has been with the group since 1981, as president, vice president and a 30 year member of their board. His work with the Penn State Scranton Chapter reaches far beyond most volunteer service, as he works year-round raising funds for scholarships for Penn State Scranton Students through community events, tailgates, speaker events and an annual Penn State Night Dinner that has become a staple in the Scranton area where Head Penn State University coaches share their views with the community. In 1986 Jeff instituted the Male and Female Academic Athletic Award which honors two student-athletes from the Scranton campus for their excellence in sports and in the classroom, given out at the annual Penn State Night Dinner. Under his Presidency Jeff has secured a $25,000 endowment from the Chapter for Penn State Scranton Athletics to help teams travel to playoffs, purchase equipment, host an athletic awards banquet and even help with needed upgrades for the athletic facilities. In 2004, the Chapter named Jeff “Alumnus of the Year” for his unyielding dedication to the group and betterment of Penn State.
As a coach, Jeff’s work can be seen, quite literally, written in the hallways of the gym at PSU Scranton. As you walk around the trophy cases you begin to notice that almost every team photo has the same man leading a varsity squad to victory since the early 80’s, that man is Jeff Mallas. In the last 40 years Jeff has coached men’s soccer, men’s baseball, tennis, wrestling, and even bowling. In his coaching tenure, Jeff earned coach of the year for men’s soccer in 1990, when the team secured the league championship. He was also an institutional part of the campuses baseball program which he started in 1981. Two years later he helped cut out the infield for the team’s first on-campus field. He also took his bowling team to 7 EPCC Championships. Jeff remained a coaching figure on campus until 2006, over 25 years of coaching service at Penn State Scranton.
His dedication to athletics reaches beyond the varsity level as Jeff has taught Kinesiology courses each semester since 1981, up to six sections a year, including golf, bowling, basketball, fitness walking, and tennis. He also hosted a youth soccer summer camp from 1995-2009 on campus, a popular camp for young co-ed players from the area to learn the fundamentals of soccer.
In addition to coaching and teaching, Jeff serves on both campus and conference committees. In the PSUAC Jeff has served on committees for the last 18 years including Competition and Ethics, Tournament and Awards, Men’s Soccer and is the Chair of Cross Country as well as serving as a USCAA Liaison. He was an instrumental part of the Athletic Expansion Committee where he, along with former coaches, student-athletes and community members he reached out to, donated monetary funds to renovate the baseball and soccer fields, as well as build the campuses first softball field, improving the facilities for future Penn State Student Athletes. The campus awarded him with the Gertrude Hawk Award for service to the students of Penn State in 1995, and the Bruce K. Sherbine Penn State Pride award in 2011. This past December marked his 39th year of service as an employee.
In the community, Jeff is well known by local high schools and young athletes as he has served as a PIAA referee for the last 25 years for girls’ and boys’ soccer and basketball. In his last 18 years Jeff has served as the Athletic Director, starting a new women’s soccer program, hiring on new positions in the department including a Coordinator of Athletic Programs, re-instituted women’s basketball and has given his all to the student-athletes that have come through his door. Jeff is more than an Athletic Director, he is a coach, a teacher, a father figure and a friend. He would call this a “tour of his life” but we like to think of it as a giant piece of Penn State history that we can all be thankful for."
Sara Rinkunas , Coordinator of Athletic Programs
Mar Tsakonas, Staff Assistant and Assistant Softball Coach
Penn State Scranton