The Mailman Gives Back

By Rhiannon Potkey - October 10, 2007


SALT LAKE CITY -- Karl Malone is serving as Louisiana Tech's director of basketball promotions and assistant strength and conditioning coach.

The former Utah Jazz star is a Louisiana Tech graduate and good friends with new Louisiana Tech coach Kerry Rupp.

The two first met 22 years ago when Rupp was a coach at East High in Salt Lake City. Malone was running on the track behind the school, and joined Rupp for a workout in the weight room.

Their wives became very close friends, and the families never lost touch.

Rupp eventually became an assistant at the University of Utah under former coach Rick Majerus, and led Utah to a Mountain West Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance as the interim head coach in 2004.

Rupp traveled with Malone to Asia and Europe to conduct clinics while Malone was sponsored by Sprite and Coke in his time with the Jazz.

Rupp said Malone's mother taught her son to be charitable in life, and that is one reason he decided to join Rupp's staff.

"He really wants to give back not just to basketball, but to the university and the community," Rupp said.

Plus, having Malone around can't hurt in the recruiting department. The Mailman may deliver a few extra prospects down the line.

"Having Karl on board this year makes it special," Rupp said.

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After his stint at Utah, Rupp was on Mike Davis' staff at Indiana and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. He said the UAB stop helped ease his adjustment to living in Ruston.

"I think that was an invaluable year," he said. "I was able to foster relationships with people in the South and understand the culture there."

Posted by Rhiannon Potkey at 02:58 PM on October 10, 2007
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