After 18 years as East High’s boys basketball coach, Ron Allen announced his resignation Sunday at a team banquet.
“It was just the right time,” said Allen, 60. “… The best part of (coaching) has been being able to take some average kids and teach them how to play together as a team and show them the benefits of it, which is success. Sometimes you deal with at-risk kids and you get them on the right track so they can be successful. I feel when I walk away from East, I feel I’ve been successful, whether in the game or with the kids in general.”
Allen was 301-146 in 20 seasons, including two at West. He’s retiring from his job as an East physical education instructor.
East senior Jalen Love wasn’t surprised that Allen resigned.
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“After the (sub-state final loss) this year, he didn’t say anything,” Love said. “I could see it in his eyes. (What made him a good coach) was not giving up. He always had a plan. He always wanted us to keep moving forward and reach the goals we set at the beginning of the year….. He taught us as men to be one and work together.”
Allen, whose team finished 15-7, won his 300th career game in the regular-season finale, a win over rival Heights, that ended the Falcons’ record 62-game winning streak. He won two Class 6A titles, in 2002 and 2005, both with a son on the team.
But Allen isn’t going far from coaching. He plans to coach in the future, just not in the Wichita school district.
His said his decision to retire from teaching has to do solely with retirement benefits. School employees can take early retirement, but if they don’t take it at a certain time, their benefits decrease while they work.
“My decision has nothing to do with basketball or my desire to coach,” Allen said. “I’m still fired up and ready to go.”