Ellie Mallory to be IU’s honorary captain for Penn State game

Indiana will honor some of the best teams of the Bill Mallory era during this week’s game against Penn State.

In the process, IU coach Tom Allen is also carving a special role for one of the key behind-the-scenes members of Mallory’s coaching tenure.

Mallory’s widow, Ellie, will be Indiana’s honorary captain when the Hoosiers host No. 18 Penn State on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. As part of her duties, Ellie Mallory will join the Hoosiers’ game captains at midfield during the pregame coin toss.

“So excited about her agreeing to do that,” Allen said on his weekly radio show. “… I just want to honor her and honor Coach Mallory.”

In doing so, IU will also salute the Bill Mallory-coached teams that made three consecutive bowl appearances from 1986 through 1988.

Bill Mallory, the winningest coach in Indiana football history, died in May at age 82.

After IU fired Mallory in 1996 after 13 seasons, he and Ellie chose to stay in Indiana and made Bloomington their permanent home. They invested in the local area, extending the goodwill they provided for years through the IU football program, while becoming community pillars in Monroe County.

Both during and after Mallory’s coaching tenure at IU, Ellie Mallory has been a revered figure for those who played under the former Indiana coach.

“She shared Coach Mallory with all of us and is just an amazing lady,” said former IU linebacker Kevin Kelly, now the director of college scouting for the Los Angeles Chargers. “She had this amazing way about her to make everything when we were there like a family.”