UNC Wilmington’s season is officially over, and soon so will the career of Dave Allen as the head coach of that program.
Allen announced on Thursday that he is stepping down as the head coach of the UNC Wilmington program: a position that only he has held. The 66-year old Allen has had one heck of a year in the lead-up to this retirement: that included winning his 13th-straight CAA men’s conference championship this year, and saving his program from the brink of elimination.
The team began in 1977-78, when a young Allen began what would become a power player in mid major swimming. He now has 15 CAA Coach of the Year honors
“It’s time for me to step aside and let someone else take the program to a higher level,” said Allen. “The decision to retire is not based on any one thing. I still enjoy the on-deck coaching and working with the student-athletes and the competitions. There are so many other behind-the-scenes duties that need much more energy than I have right now.”
What Allen is referring to likely includes the team’s fundraising efforts to try and secure the long-term funding of the program through endowments. This, then, might make his retirement an appropriate time – he can still be involved in those fundraising efforts, but a younger coach can also help add a new energy to the program’s alumni base. That’s an energy that might never be riper than now, just 15 months after the program came within days of elimination.