The Westfield Republican
by Sarah Maurer
June 17, 2010
New Award Honors Longtime Mayville Coach
On Tuesday, June 8, Malinoski presented Chautauqua Lake Central School graduating senior Randy Shearer with the very first Coach 'Doc' Malinoski Sportsmanship Award. The alumni of the Mayville Central School classes of 1956-83 sponsored the award, which included an engraved plaque and a check for $250.00. These were the years Malinoski coached and worked as an athletic director at MCHS. The recipient’s name will also be engraved on a larger wooden plaque that will be displayed permanently at CLCS.
The award, which will be presented annually, goes to a deserving senior athlete who show sportsmanship, respect for his teammates and opponents, academic achievement, and service to his/her school and community. These requirements are a reflection of all of the attributes that Coach Malinoski has exhibited throughout his life, especially during his time working at MCS.
Even as a very young man, Malinoski led a life grounded in serving others. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the military and was sent to fight in World War II. He participated in the U.S. invasions at Normandy, Southern France, and Okinawa.
“You might say I grew up in the service,” Malinoski said. Though he lived the life of a soldier, he always wanted a degree in physical education. “I had a coach when I was in junior high school and he was my hero,” Malinoski said. “He was everything I wanted to be.”
Thanks to the G.I. Bill of Rights, Malinoski was able to fulfill his dream and followed in the footsteps of his former coach to Ithaca College. By taking an intensive schedule of classes, he was able to obtain his degree in three years. He then went on to earn a Masters degree from Saint Bonaventure University.
Malinoski began his first coaching job in 1949 at Delevan-Machias Central High School in Machias, NY. He worked relentlessly at this position, clocking around 75 hours per week. He coached every sport, taught both boys' and girls' physical education classes, and drove players home on the bus after practices and games. “I practically had to clean my own locker room,” Malinoski said.
From there, Malinoski moved to Niagara Falls where he got a job at a Y.M.C.A. After working there for two years, he was approached by Ted Peterson, a former baseball teammate and then principal of Mayville Central School, with a job offer. Knowing that he didn’t have any intention of raising a family in a town like Niagara Falls, Malinoski opted to take the job in picturesque Chautauqua County. So in 1956, he moved to Mayville and began his 27-year run as an athletic director, coach, and summer recreation leader.
Malinoski maintained his steadfast work ethic, coaching every sport there was at MCS. He coached track and baseball simultaneously in the spring, both junior varsity and varsity basketball, and football. He led the basketball team to the sectional finals three times and coached eight championship football teams. His greatest accomplishment, however, was in track and field. Malinoski’s teams brought home 69 consecutive track victories to MCS.
Despite the intense commitment of his work, Malinoski only made $2,800 a year. At first, he was hesitant to take the job because it would not bring in enough money for his family to live on. Then Peterson offered him additional work as a summer recreation leader, which allowed him to bring home enough to support his family.
Malinoski ran a very successful summer recreation program, with the help of three or four other counselors whom he hand selected. Throughout the summer months, he taught hundreds of children to swim. Under Malinoski, the program became very popular and grew to an average daily attendance of 500 children.
After many, many years of hard work, Malinoski retired in 1983. Sadly, he lost his wife and his brother during the course of the past year. He also underwent a triple heart bypass surgery late last year. Regardless, he continues to persevere.
Coach Malinosli’s legacy and impact in the local community can easily be understood by looking at the great number of people whose lives he has touched. “’Doc’ is, and always will be, a beloved fixture in the history of MCS/CLCS,” said Terry Clark of the MCS class of 1961. “He was a mentor, teacher, coach and good friend to the hundreds of athletes that came under his direction for so many years.”
It is those athletes who Malinoski considers to be his family. And it is those athletes who make sure to plow the coach’s driveway when it snows and helped him paint his garage. “They keep track of me,” Malinoski said. “I do have family here. They number in the hundreds. They are great people.”
Much like a proud parent, Malinoski rejoiced in watching his players develop and helping them realize what they were capable of, not only in sports, but also in their career paths. “I’ve had influence on many of these athletes in that most of my ‘family’ are doctors, lawyers, plumbers-you name it,” he said. “I’d like to think that every one of them has been successful, not only on the playing field but in their life.”
“They come around and they still call me ‘Coach,’ and that’s rewarding,” he said. To those individuals, Francis 'Doc' Malinoski will always be the man who helped them realize their true potential, whether it was on the court, the field, or somewhere far beyond.
The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.