Michelle Malis grew up in Tucson and attended Sahuaro High School. Michelle was a 4-year varsity starter for Sahuaro and played club volleyball for the now defunct Southern Arizona Juniors.
Michelle earned a scholarship to play volleyball at the University of Arizona (1990-1993). She was named to the All PAC 10 Academic 2nd team in 1991 and All PAC 10 Academic 1st team in 1992 and 1993. Michelle was a GTE Academic All-American in 1993. Michelle graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Agriculture (Nutrition and Dietetics). In 1996, Michelle was one of sixteen athletes in the nation to be awarded the NCAA Women’s Enhancement Post Graduate Scholarship. She graduated in August 1997 with a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration.
During the spring of 1993 and 1994, Michelle coached for Club Cactus. In the fall of 1994, Michelle was an assistant coach at California State University at Bakersfield. The team finished 2nd in the NCAA Division II Championship. Upon returning back to Tucson in the spring of 1995, Michelle again coached club. In the fall of 1995, Michelle and A.J. started Zona and Michelle took over the volleyball program at Palo Verde High School. She was the varsity coach there through the 2001 season. Michelle was the varsity coach at Sabino High School during the 2011 season. She has been the varsity coach at Tanque Verde High School since 2015.
Michelle was named the Junior National Outstanding Female Coach by the USA Volleyball Junior Assembly during the 2016 club season.
A.J. and Michelle have three children, Zach, Ethan, and Ainsley, and two daughters-in-law, McKenna and Sierra.