Skip to main content

By Kyle Sutherland I Photo by Jimmy Jones 

Mountain Home offensive coordinator and former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett has been named the head coach of White Hall. He will take over for Bobby Bolding, who resigned in December to, for the time being, focus on being solely athletic director after taking the Bulldogs to their first state championship game in 34 years.

Mallett was a 5-star quarterback coming out of Texas (Texarkana, Texas) High in 2007 and spent a year at Michigan before transferring to Arkansas, where he rewrote the record books. He won 19 games for the Hogs in two seasons along with a berth in the Sugar Bowl, Arkansas’ first and only BCS bowl appearance. He ranks first in Arkansas history for yards (3,869) and touchdowns (32) in a single season which he accomplished in 2010.

After being selected 74th overall in the 2011 NFL draft by the New England Patriots, Mallett spent three seasons as a backup to Tom Brady before getting traded to the Houston Texans, where he was the starter for six games. He finished his NFL career in Baltimore from 2015-17, starting two games for the Ravens.

Mallett was initially scheduled to play in the 2019 rebirth season of the XFL football league, but he was never signed. He did participate in last year’s The Spring League and took 100% of the snaps during the six-game schedule for the Generals, throwing for 252 yards in the season opener. He passed for 1,139 yards overall, which ranked second in the league, and he was one of two quarterbacks to throw for more than 1,000 yards.

He joined Steve Ary’s staff at Mountain Home in April 2020 as wide receivers coach before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2021. He helped the Bombers break a 23-game losing streak in Week 2 of that season, defeating Nettleton 41-7. That team went on to win six games, which was the most since the 2006 season. During the past two years with Mallett on staff, Mountain Home made the playoffs and earned wins in the first round both years.

“Ryan came in at a time we had a new staff,” Ary said. “Obviously, him being a statewide celebrity helped us generate enthusiasm within the community. His IQ is off the charts and him coming in with a lot of knowledge was a win-win for Mountain Home.”

Just in his early thirties and with less than a handful of coaching experience under his belt, none as a head coach, it is easy for one to question if he is prepared.

“I don’t think anyone is ready to be thrown into the fire so to speak,” Ary said. “It is a profession that you are going to grow at. There is a lot that goes into it. Along with being a coach, you also have to form relationships and embrace the community and I think that he will do all of that.”

White Hall is coming off one of its best seasons in school history, but Mallett has his work cut out for him as the team will be hit hard with graduation. The Bulldogs will continue to compete in the 5A-South conference for the upcoming 2022-24 cycle.