Emily Mallek understands how positively sports can impact someone’s life.

And now she brings that understanding to her new position as athletic director for McDonell Area Catholic Schools.

Mallek was announced as the new athletic director on Nov. 15, replacing Eric Gardow who stepped down after one year in the position as well as Chad Bormann, who served as interim AD while the school conducted its search.

Mallek most recently served as the AD at St. Joan Antida High School in Milwaukee, an all-girls catholic school. Mallek graduated high school from Stevens Point after lettering in golf and softball for the Panthers. Mallek went on to earn her undergraduate degree at UW-Oshkosh while competing in golf and softball for the Titans. Mallek earned her masters degree in sports management from the University of Minnesota and said the chance to lead at a school with more athletic options and one closer to home made McDonell the right fit.

“It was the perfect job and the perfect location,” Mallek said. “It made the decision really easy.”

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And while Mallek competed in sports at a high level in both high school and college, she said what she truly loves about athletic competition is how players of any ability can find their niche with a team.

“Athletics was a huge part of my life growing up in the high school level and college as well and how important it was to me,” Mallek said. “I just want to give our kids a good opportunity. Not necessarily being the star athlete or anything, a sense of belonging and something they can really express their individual talents.”

Mallek is familiar to the Chippewa Falls area, playing for the Panthers softball team at tournaments hosted at Casper Park.

And now she’s ready to learn even more about it as she settles into her new role.

“This reminds me a lot of home,” Mallek said.

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