Ryan Mallett, a former NFL quarterback from Arkansas, passed away at the age of 35 in a suspected drowning incident at a beach in Florida‘s Okaloosa County. Authorities were alerted to the situation when a group of swimmers encountered difficulties returning to shore from a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico. Mallett, who was among them, was found unresponsive and was taken to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
“Regrettably, we announce the passing of Coach Ryan Mallett,” conveyed White Hall, the Arkansas school district where Mallett served as a high school football coach, in a statement on its website. “Coach Mallett was a highly regarded coach and teacher. We kindly request that you keep his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the staff of White Hall School District in your thoughts and prayers.”
Mallett spent a year playing at the University of Michigan before transferring to Arkansas. During his time at Arkansas, he had impressive stats, throwing for 7,493 yards and 62 touchdowns in just two seasons. In 2009, as a redshirt sophomore under coach Bobby Petrino, Mallett led the Razorbacks to an 8-5 record and a victory in the Liberty Bowl. For his outstanding performance, he was awarded Offensive MVP honors. Please keep his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall School District staff in your thoughts and prayers.
The peak of his performance occurred in 2010, where he achieved 3,869 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with a completion rate of 64.7%. These impressive stats led to him receiving second-team All-SEC recognition for the second consecutive year. Additionally, he ranked seventh in the voting for the prestigious 2010 Heisman Trophy.
The Arkansas football program expressed their deep sorrow and surprise at the death of Ryan Mallett in a tweet. They described him as a beloved figure and a remarkable talent who played a significant role in their team’s success. They acknowledged the impact he had on their program and expressed condolences to his mother Debbie and his extended family.
The New England Patriots drafted Mallett in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft, specifically at the 74th overall pick. Coach Bill Belichick justified the decision by emphasizing the importance of having a strong quarterback roster, which led to the selection of Mallett as one of Tom Brady’s understudies.Belichick expressed his belief in Mallett’s skill and track record of success, noting his victories in both high school and college. Additionally, Belichick found Mallett to be an impressive individual to interact with.
Belichick provided a detailed account of how the Patriots closely monitored Mallett’s college career. They observed his performance at Michigan in 2007 and later at Arkansas, where he transferred due to changes in the Wolverines coaching staff’s offensive strategy. Belichick highlighted Mallett’s proficiency in a pro-style offense under Petrino, stating in 2011 that he was more advanced compared to other quarterbacks they had evaluated.
Belichick expressed his deep sadness over Ryan’s untimely death and extended his sympathies and prayers to Mallett’s family and all those who were impacted by him. Brady, in a social media message, honored Ryan as a remarkable individual and expressed gratitude for everything he did.
Mallett had limited playing time as a backup to Brady in New England due to Brady’s strong health and rarely being replaced in games. He was then traded to the Houston Texans before the 2014 season, where he played in nine games and started in six over two seasons before being released in October 2015. After his release, he joined the Baltimore Ravens, where he made two starts and appeared in eight games until 2017.
“Ryan was a beloved member of our team,” stated Ravens coach John Harbaugh in a team tweet. “I will always remember his strong camaraderie with his teammates and his ability to embrace and enjoy every day of football while he was here.”During his initial start on November 16, 2014, Mallett led Houston to a 23-7 win against Cleveland. His first ever touchdown pass was a 2-yard throw to defensive end J.J. Watt.
“It is devastating to hear the news about Ryan Mallett,” expressed Watt in a tweet. “Taken from us far too soon. Rest in Peace, brother.”
Mallett played 21 games in the NFL, starting eight of them. He threw a total of 345 passes, completing 190 of them for 1,835 yards. He had nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.In 2022, Mallett became the head coach of White Hall High School in Arkansas, where he grew up. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Mountain Home High School.
“I had a strong inclination towards coaching,” Mallett expressed upon his appointment as the coach at White Hall, as reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “It is an inherent quality in me. I possess a comprehensive understanding of the field and its dynamics, which is complemented by my genuine passion for football. The opportunity to instill proper values in young individuals at an early stage is immensely fulfilling for me.”