Pat Malone

Women’s Hall of Fame – 2004

Pat Malone

Biographical Information

Born: Jan, 1950 Hometown: Ft. Branch, Indiana
Current Residence: 5910 Finch Lane, Otterbein, IN

Powerlifting Details

Pat is one of the pioneers and one of the best advocates for women in Powerlifting. In the days pre-Title IX and in the early years, he never understood or tolerated women not having the accessibility to athletics that men had. So he did something about it. Pat was instrumental in coaching and seeking out women that would benefit from strength training.

In an effort to get his teams performing to the best of their abilities, he became an international referee, a meet promoter, an equipment manufacturer (from bars to benches to wraps to suits), a committee member and leader, and always a cheerleader and innovator.

He created the Malone formula (coefficients used for women until the Wilkes formula was adopted in 2000) because he did not think that women got a fair comparison with the Schwartz formula the men used. He talked to Schwartz and did the analysis that said that women should have different coefficients from the men. Schwartz agreed and Pat’s formula was the standard for over 20 years.

Pat has influenced a generation of women lifters, coaching several world and national champions. And he wraps knees tighter and faster than anyone else!!

How did you get interested in Powerlifting?

When Pat was 12, he was helping his Dad move a heavy shower stall base and he was not very strong. His Father said “I will be glad when my boys grow up and are big and strong enough to help me”. Pat knew he wanted to get stronger from that point. Pat got interested in Strength Training when he was 14 and saw a 132 Lb. World Champion Olympic Lifter on the Art Linkletter show lifting twice his body weight. Powerlifting did not exist in those days, so he decided to try Olympic lifting. He proceeded to make his own bar (a water pipe) and weights (bricks attached to the end of the pipe) and he started training. He was active in Track and Field, running the 2 mile and thought that strength training would help him. He continued lifting on his makeshift equipment and some additional York weight set through high school and 2 yrs of technical school. This was the Vietnam draft era, and Pat joined the Navy. He was excited to see an actual Olympic bar and weights in the Navy, and really got serious about lifting. After the Navy, Pat was looking for a college that had some sort of weightlifting�.a friend told him that Purdue had a weightlifting club!! And so he came to Purdue to major in Physics and minor in Physical Education. He read magazines and learned of this new sport called Powrerlifting. He started training and figured out the techniques through trial and error�the reverse grip on the deadlift, etc. He joined the Powerlifting Club in 1975 at Purdue. Pat went to a meet in Ohio that Larry Pacifico put on and used a high speed camera to tape the meet and study the techniques. He saw the Norwegian team doing a “dive bomb” deadlift. Thinking that might also work in the squat, he became a proponent of the “kamikaze squat” technique.

Pat’s sisters were good athletes and he was very interested in getting them involved. When his younger sister Donna came to Purdue, he got her into weight lifting. In the Co-Rec, when she approached a 225 Deadlift, you could hear a pin drop. All the guys stopped what they were doing and watched. It was very unusual for women at that point in time to be lifting weights with the boys. There had been a few other women involved in Powerlifting like Jan Todd, but not many. The first National meet was in Nashua, NH in April of 1978. Pat had recruited a few women from the Purdue volleyball team to also lift, and four Purdue women went to the met. This was a time when being on a team meant you trained together, or were from the same state. Donna Martin, one of the volleyball players, not only increased her vertical leap with strength training, but also set a record for a 315 Deadlift while weighing 132 lbs. The second year, Pat got Ruth Welding involved and had 8 girls he was coaching. By now, his sister Diana had joined also. Kathy Tuite was on the team and was also the team photographer. But Pat also competed himself in over 100 meets.He also competed in Olympic Lifting and many times did both sports�going from a Masters Nationals in Powerlifting to a State Weightlifting contest in the same weekend.

What is your role in Powerlifting?

Everything! But first and foremost, being a coach. Pat says that the best part of his life is coaching athletes. Pat opened his own gym, and created a business making equipment and bars and wraps and suits and belts. He did anything to give his team the best chance possible. He still makes over 10,000 bars a year. When many of the combined men/women meets frowned on the women, Pat simply started hosting meets for the women. He hosted Nationals in West Lafayette and in Indianapolis. He was known to truck equipment anywhere to help promoters put on meets. He saw that the Schwartz formula being used was not fair to female lifters and created the Malone formula that was used from 1979 onward. Pat could keep track of ten lifters numbers and wrap all their knees and call their next attempts and know exactly where every other competitor stood without help or paper. His mind for numbers is incredible. He is a great referee and became an IPF Cat II in 1980. Pat was a competitor in over 100 meets.

What are your best lifts?

Competing in over 100 meets (4 of them at Masters Nationals), Pat’s best lifts were a 507 lb. Squat @161; a 275 lb. Bench @ 165, and a 550 lb. Deadlift @ 168. He also competed in Olympic lifting.

What is the most memorable Powerlifting Event?

Seeing his sister Donna win the IPF Worlds in 1981 at 97 lb weight class. She was the first woman lifter he coached and she showed a great dedication. She squatted 236, benched 99 and deadlifted 297.5.

Pat had 60 different women on his teams go the nationals, and 8 women won nationals or world titles and set records. The Purdue Women’s Powerlifting Team won the Nationals team title many times from 1979 through 1990. The best finish was the 1987 meet in Arizona, where he had 3 firsts and 2 seconds and won the team title.

Who is your most memorable Powerlifting lifter?

Melanie Getz. She had lots of personal rough edges, but was a gifted athlete. She had the highest total using the Malone coefficient and a few years ago they awarded a best combined Weightlifting and Powerlifting totals�she won. Pat had coached her in both sports.

What would you like to be remembered for?

Pat would like to be remembered for his coaching involvement and success. He had an obsession to own the meets and blow all other teams away! Everything else Pat did�referee, build equipment, create the formula, put on meets, having his Mom make suits…was in support of the women lifters.

Any Words of Wisdom?

Stay drug free and don’t rely on the equipment! Pat truly appreciated the athletes that stuck with it�the training, the competition.

Sports/Other Background:

Pat is married to his second wife Sarah. He has one child, Judy (Senior in High School) from his first marriage and three children from his second marriage (ages 8, 6 and 7 mos.)�all have incredible athletic potential! Pat phased out of Powerlifting when he remarried and started his second family.

Inspiration in athletics came early from Pat’s Uncle Wayne. Pat idolized the football, basketball, all around athlete and wanted to be just like him. When Pat was in 6th grade, he played football and was a great halfback. But his father did not want him to be injured, so he did not play football again. One of 9 kids living 4 ½ miles from school in the country, Pat did not have rides to and from all his activities, so he took to running everywhere. He was a drummer in the band and ran back and forth to band practice and performances. He did not know how to train for track, so he just ran a lot of miles. The worn out path around his house was his track at home. There was no strength training at school, but Pat was using his makeshift gym at home to get stronger.

Pat’s first involvement in competitive sports was on the track team in high school. He did not have real equipment, but was an innovator from the beginning and built his own pole vault standards, created a javelin from a sapling, and used a rock for a shot. His best finish in high school was his junior year when he placed 2nd in the sectional in the two mile run. When he turned 16 and had a little money, his first purchase was a stop watch to time himself running and a shot. When he got his first full time job, he bought a javelin and discus.

While at Purdue Pat played and taught tennis. He also ran a 10 mile race in 1 hour, 1 minute. Not bad! The longest distance he has gone is 22 miles. Pat used his running acumen to help him make weight in Powerlifting and Olympic lifting�he ran a half marathon once before a meet. But after running 6 miles in a sauna suit and then competing in a Powerlifting contest, he stopped doing that! About the only sports Pat did not try were water sports.

Pat also competed in Masters Track and Field and Powerlifting in addition to coaching. He competed in the throws and several running events. He even competed in a decathlon.

He is now a partner in a Multi-sport complex in the Lafayette area. He and his wife run two gymnastics training facilities. He continues to run his business making Olympic and Power Bars (30 models!) and making hardwood flooring. Pat has returned to training and is looking to get back into active Powerlifting and track and field.