Phil Allen inducted into CCAA Hall of Fame< More Stories
When he came to Lakeland in 2003, he already had an impressive list of accomplishments as a coach and athletic director.
Allen's roots in Alberta college basketball were deep. He played for Grant MacEwan College (now MacEwan Univesity) and Red Deer College. He started college coaching as a player-coach and then assistant at MacEwan.
His 2014 induction into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) noted his “odyssey of success unequaled in the history of the ACAC.” It started in 1978 at SAIT where his teams won nine ACAC championships including seven consecutive titles from 1980-86. The Trojans also won two national titles in 1982 and 1986 when the team was undefeated (34-0).
After a decade as SAIT’s athletic director, Allen moved to Edmonton in 1996 and back to Grant MacEwan. The Griffins won national bronze with Allen as head coach in 2001. He also coached at Concordia University College.
Allen retired from coaching in 2008 after taking the Rustlers to the CCAA championships. He recorded 805 wins, the most by an ACAC basketball coach, and the most by a Canadian college coach. He did return briefly as an assistant for the Rustlers and Olds College women’s teams.
Along the way, Allen earned ACAC Coach of the Year three times and the CCAA Coach of the Year in 1983. He started a holiday classic tournament that SAIT still holds, SAIT's summer basketball camps and a club basketball program in Edmonton. He was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.Allen’s coaching career also included junior high basketball and international wheelchair basketball.
As his family and colleagues note, his passion was helping people be successful. A group of his former business students recognized his mentorship by setting up a scholarship in his honour.
In 2007 Allen began a seven-year stint as Lakeland’s marketing and enrolment director, then vice president of advancement. His Lakeland legacy includes a strategic enrolment plan and New Holland’s investment in the Student-Managed Farm. He retired in 2014.
The same heart problem that caused him to retire early from coaching took his life in early 2016. He’d just started work as a technical director for Basketball Alberta.