With a 7-3 season and a share of the Inter-Ac title, Aaron Brady resigned from his position prior to the team’s final game.
While Malvern Football will bid farewell to their graduating senior class after this season, they bid an abrupt farewell to their head coach.
On November 18, Head of School Christian Talbot sent an email to Malvern parents, faculty and staff, and the Board of Trustees to announce the resignation of Brady in both of his roles as Head Football Coach and Director of Experiential Learning.
“While this is a challenging time for transition, I respect his decision,” the email stated.
On November 19, word began to spread around the Malvern community that Aaron Brady had coached his last game for the Friars.
On November 23, he walked onto the field one last time to view the game from the pressbox.
“It was definitely very emotional,” Brady said. “I was really proud of what these seniors did the last three years, and I wanted to see them in their last game.”
According to Athletic Director, Kurt Ruch, his resignation was a personal decision of Brady.
“From the school’s standpoint, [his resignation] is a personal matter, and we do not deal with personal issues or personal standpoints like that,” Ruch said. “If [the students] want to find out, they can talk to Coach Brady and have him explain it.”
Brady, after much consideration, decided to leave Malvern in pursuit of a future in college football.
“I really wanted to pursue college football and go into that direction,” Brady said. “I coached in college before, and I really wanted to get back to that level.”
After meeting with Talbot, Brady stated that he would resign as head coach and that it was time for him to move on, freeing him up time to look for better options.
“If I resigned, I knew I could go full heartedly into [college football],” Brady said. “I would not be half in – half out.”
Currently, he is looking at Division III coaching options.
“It was amicable between Mr. Talbot and myself to move on. It was a really hard decision,” Brady said. “But personally, it was really for my family.”
After watching him for the last three years, Mr. Talbot has seen Brady’s impact on Malvern.
“Having worked very closely with Aaron for the past three years, I can attest to the tremendous impact he has had on the development of experiential learning at Malvern, especially our Social Entrepreneurship class, and of course on Malvern Prep Football,” Talbot wrote in his email. “We thank Aaron for these past three years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Brady was officially hired as Head Football Coach and Director of Experiential Learning in April of 2014, and held a record of 24-9 as coach. He sent five players to play FBS football in college.
“Coach Brady was a great influence on our team and helped a lot of people with the college process,” senior captain Justin Tichenell said. “We were all surprised when he decided to move on, but we all wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
News of Brady’s resignation sent shockwaves throughout the Malvern community.
“I was very surprised. It is definitely not something that you prepare for,” Ruch said. “I had no idea that it was coming, and we had to pick up the pieces in preparing for the next game.”
After the last full pads practice, the team gathered around their Assistant Coach, Scott Hisey, who talked to the team to break the news, which came as a surprise to the players.
“I was pretty shocked when I heard the news,” sophomore Jake Hornibrook said. “He was a good coach to look up to. He is a great coach, and he will go up from here.”
For Malvern’s final game against The Avalon School, Hisey took over as interim Head Coach. Hisey declined to comment.
Malvern has already commenced its search for a new head coach, advertising the position electronically and in print.
“We have already put the posts up in the papers this last week, we put it on the website, and we are starting to take applications and resumes,” Ruch said. “Like we would in any sport, we are going to try to find the best possible coach that fits and follows Malvern’s mission and would help our teams continue to grow and develop over time.”
Mr. Ruch is hopeful they will find a coach as high caliber as Brady, ideally naming a new coach by the end of February.
“If we are going to get someone like Coach Brady regarding the tactical side, we would be lucky,” Ruch said. “He was a very good coach on the field, and he did a lot for our players off the field.”
Off the field, Brady said he will continue to help Malvern players with college recruitment.
“I am still helping with everyone’s recruiting, like I always have,” Brady said. “I am calling coaches for them, making contacts, and helping them set up visits. I am here to finish what we started – I may be gone, but I am still helping,” Brady said.
As for who will succeed Brady’s position as Director of Experiential Learning, Head of School Christian Talbot does not plan to hire a replacement.
“We’re not going to fill that role,” Talbot said. “I think we’ve gotten to the point now with being established and other experiential learning opportunities being available that I don’t think we need a full time person in that role.”
However to fill Brady’s role in Social Entrepreneurship, Malvern created a new Director of Social Entrepreneurship position.
“Director of Social Entrepreneurship is a smaller role and it’s really about perpetuating that class and finding additional opportunities for that learning experience to happen,” Talbot said. “The Director of Experiential Learning was anything that was related to experiential learning outside the classroom.”
Talbot said he does not anticipate Brady to pursue being a director of experiential learning elsewhere. “I didn’t expect that Mr. Brady would move on from here to another school to create an experiential learning program there,” Talbot said. “I think at his core he’s a football coach, so it would make sense that he would move on to the college level.”
Although Brady won’t be on the sidelines leading the team anymore, Brady feels Malvern football is in great position to succeed in the future.
“I love those kids, and I am excited to see what they do next year,” Brady said. “I expect them to win the championship. We have a really solid group of coaches. I feel like the program is in a great place.”
Reflecting on his time here, Brady could not have been happier to have been a part of Malvern and the values it stands for.
“I had a great three year experience at Malvern,” Brady said. “I really grew myself, spiritually, and also with the Social Entrepreneurial Program, outside of football. I just really enjoy all the Malvern students, and the spirit of the school.”