After one of the most distinguished careers in American hockey history, with extraordinary success at the prep, collegiate, and professional levels, Northwood’s Mark Morris will retire at the end of this season.
His successor will be the current Assistant Coach, Steve Mallaro. Both Morris and Mallaro are Northwood alumni, graduating in ’77 and ’06 respectively. In Morris’s first stint as Northwood’s Coach, Mallaro served as Captain of the first Northwood hockey squad to win forty games.
An outstanding defenseman at Colgate University, Morris played professionally for the New Haven Nighthawks and the Dallas Black Hawks before joining the coaching ranks as an assistant to Charlie Morrison in 1984. After serving as Saint Lawrence Assistant Coach from 1985-88. He was named Head Coach at Clarkson in 1988; in that role he led the Golden Knights to over 300 wins. After serving as an assistant coach on the Vancouver Canucks and Saginaw Spirit, he returned to Northwood for two years before taking the reins of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, and again won over 300 games. Before rejoining Northwood in 2021, he was an assistant for the Florida Panthers and Head Coach at Saint Lawrence University. In his most recent two years at Northwood, he has won over 60 games in just a season-and-a-half. Last year he was honored with a spot on Northwood’s Fullerton Wall, named after legendary coach, Jim Fullerton
His replacement, Steve Mallaro, says of Mark, “I follow in the ranks of many remarkable coaches and people. When Mark recruited me as a player in 2004, I knew I was in for a great experience. Mark’s mentorship in those and these more recent years showed me how much he cares about the development of players as people. His success stems from his charismatic leadership. He brings value and values every day. He has asked for my best and empowered me to give it. Having been married within the last year, I have also learned much from him about being a husband and father. I have been fortunate to have him in my life.”
Coach Mallaro also brings impressive experience as a player and coach. After captaining Northwood in 2006, he moved on to SUNY Oswego where he was twice named to the All-Conference team and voted Captain of the 2011 squad. After a year of professional hockey, he served as a graduate assistant coach at Manhattanville College, Assistant Men’s Coach at Suny Brockport, and Head Coach at King’s College before accepting the head coaching job at Albany Academy. In 2021, he joined the Northwood staff as an assistant to Coach Morris, who says of him, “Steve was the first person I thought of when I returned to Northwood. He models the qualities any player or parent would want in a coach responsible for a young man’s development as a player and person. As a player, Steve was all about team, the glue guy, a leader on and off the ice. As a coach, his example and loyalty to his alma mater are constants. Trustworthy and caring, he is a calming presence in conversation or while instructing. Steve studies the game and works tirelessly to better our program. He will continue to recruit quality individuals and maximize their hockey skills and personal strengths.”
Headmaster Mike Maher said, “Northwood has been blessed with some extraordinary coaches in the last ninety years. In his time here as a student and coach, Steve Mallaro has demonstrated that he is ready to follow in the footsteps of Hall of Famers like Jim Fullerton and Charlie Holt and other great mentors like Coach Morris. We are thrilled to have him on board.”