Allen enjoys coaching BA softball program

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 8, 2008

Ricky Allen loves coaching softball, be it slowpitch orfastpitch. Allen’s Brookhaven Academy Lady Cougars cruised to theMississippi Private School Association’s Class AA State Tournamentslowpitch championship last May, posting a 16-4 worksheet.

Six months later Allen is sharing The DAILY LEADER’s 2008Slowpitch Softball Coach of the Year honor with Andrew Redd of WestLincoln. Public schools play their slowpitch schedule in the fallof the year.

This is the first time for Allen to receive the honor.

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“Our team was good on offense and defense,” said Allen. “We hadgood chemistry on the team and we all got along really well.”

Allen watched six starters graduate off that outstanding squad.They included rightfielder Betsy Lynch, left-centerfielder KelliSnider, right-centerfielder Layne Jordan, pitcher Lindsey Nations,catcher Kellie Brady and third baseman Hannah Watts.

“I want thank Will Jordan for helping me coach the team,” saidAllen. “I also want to thank my wife, too.”

Allen, 45, is married to the former Kelly Day of Brookhaven. Theyhave two daughters: Maddie, 21; and Meredith, 15.

A 1981 BA graduate, Allen grew up in a sports environment. He was amember of the 1981 BA state championship basketball team that wascoached by John R. Gray. He also played baseball.

Allen played basketball for Coach Richard Williams atCopiah-Lincoln Community College. He has been head softball coachat BA for 5 years. He assisted Neal King prior to that.

“I like slowpitch,” said Allen. “There is a lot more action. It’snot a pitcher-catcher game like fastpitch.”

When he’s not coaching or working at Delphi-Packard, Allen servesas an official in basketball and football. He has been officiatingbasketball games since 1990.

“People holler at you but you get used to it,” said Allen, inreference to basketball officiating. He has officiated footballgames for 10 years.”

Allen said his wife deserved MVP recognition. “Kelly makes myslowpitch schedule for me and takes care of a lot of things.”