The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletic Communications.
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State Senior Associate Athletics Director for Communications Steve Malchow, who has 42 years of service in collegiate athletics, including 16 seasons at Iowa State, has announced his retirement effective June 30th.
“Today is bittersweet for me,” Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard said. “I am happy for Steve as he prepares to transition into the next phase of his life’s journey. However, at the same time, I am sad that he will no longer be directly at my side as he has been for the past two decades.”
Malchow followed Pollard from Wisconsin to Ames in 2005. The Sioux City, Iowa native spearheaded ISU’s senior-level strategic communications and brand management. He also supervised ISU’s athletics communications, marketing, digital media, creative services, information technology, trademark licensing and spirt squads/band units.
Many of Malchow’s initiatives enhanced the athletics department’s brand and national outreach.
“Steve has been one of the key individuals responsible for much of our department’s success over the past 16 years,” Pollard added. “He is truly an unsung hero who was directly responsible for several very successful branding initiatives including the I-State logo and Cyclones.tv. I often refer to Steve as my moral compass because I knew when emotions were running high on challenging issues he was always someone I could count on to provide calm, sound and timely feedback. He has been a trusted colleague by everyone in our department. Our program is going to miss his steady leadership and respected expertise.”
Malchow will miss the close relationships he developed in his collegiate career.
“It has been a blessing to work with so many incredible colleagues and talented young people in the last four decades at three different institutions,” Malchow said. “I have enjoyed a front row seat to watch hundreds of athletes pursue their personal potentials and grow into extraordinary young adults.”
Malchow began his career at the University of Iowa, serving five years as an undergraduate, one as a graduate assistant and five as an assistant in the sports information office from 1979-1990.
A 1983 graduate of Iowa, Malchow worked alongside and provided support to legendary figures Bump Elliott, Dan Gable, Lute Olson, Hayden Fry, Tom Davis and Barry Alvarez.
When Alvarez took over a struggling Wisconsin football program in 1990, he handpicked Malchow to be his sports information director, beginning a successful 15-year run with the Badgers.
Malchow, who was promoted to a Senior Associate Athletics Director for his final three years with the school, was at the center of Wisconsin’s incredible turnaround in athletics, especially in football as its publicity man.
Working with Alvarez, Malchow led the communication efforts in seven bowl games, including three Rose Bowl victories.
Wisconsin had a historic 1999-2000 season. The football team won the Rose Bowl and Malchow was the man behind the scenes in the successful promotion of Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne. The men’s basketball team capped off the year by earning a trip to the Final Four.
Malchow was the SID of the Year by the National Football Foundation in 1999 for his efforts.
“Steve is one of the few native Iowans who worked in the athletics departments at Iowa, Wisconsin and Iowa State,” Pollard said. “His professional experiences include working with many of the greatest Iowans from each of those schools, including Bump Elliott, Barry Alvarez, Haden Fry, Dan Gable, Tom Davis, Dan McCarney and Fred Hoiberg. That experience is unmatched by anyone in our industry.”
Malchow promoted a slew of student-athletes for national honors and received more than 40 citations from CoSIDA for excellence in publications in his professional career. He received the “Excellent Media Service” award by the FWAA in 1991 and was named “Outstanding Young American Business Leader” in 1994 and 1996.
Malchow acquired outstanding mentoring by some of the top leaders in collegiate athletics.
“I want to recognize former Iowa Sports Information Director George Wine for giving me my first full-time job and Wisconsin’s Barry Alvarez for believing in me,” Malchow said. “I especially want to thank Jamie Pollard for his friendship, trust and support and for giving me an opportunity to return to my home state and help build a positive brand for Cyclone Athletics.”
Malchow stayed active throughout his career while serving on numerous committees. He was the lead presenter on “Strategic Thinking” at the 2016 NACDA Leadership Forum, a member of the Big 12 Public Relations Advisory Committee (2011-present), chaired the Big Ten Sports Information Directors (1999-2000), served on the Ames Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the NCAA Honors Committee (2016-19), serving as its chair in his final year.
“As the son of a sportswriter, I’ve been around athletics my entire life,” Malchow said. “To have had the chance to work in college athletics my entire professional career has been rewarding, so much fun and very humbling.”
Pollard and Malchow will end a professional working relationship that’s spanned 23 years at two different schools.
“I wish Steve, Barb, and their son Bryce, all the best in the next phase of their life,” Pollard said. “Although our professional time together is coming to an end, our friendship will last a lifetime.”