Sonny Allen was born on March 8, 1936, in Moundsville, West Virginia, United States. He went to Moundsville High School and went to college at Marshall University where he started playing basketball and played the position of a point guard. He also coached the freshman team at his school. He graduated with BA and MA degrees.
Sonny Allen Marriage Details With Kids
His wife was Donna and they had four children namely Billy, Jackie Eldrenkamp, Kelly Marcantel, and Jennifer Allen. Sonny Allen went through a lot of hardship when growing up, living in abject poverty and his father abandoning him and his mum at three years old. He was forced to engage in odd jobs as early as after high school so as to fend for himself and raise his college fees.
Sonny Allen Career Details
Sonny Allen was an American college basketball coach. From 1965 to 1975 he was elected as the head coach at the Old Dominion University. He leads the Old Monarchs to six NCAA College Tournaments, they finished runners-up in 1971, won in 1975, and became the fourth position in 1976. After that, he went to coach at the Southern Methodist University up to 1980. At SMU, he went from 61 to 77 and one SWAC coach of the year honor. From 1980 to 1987 he coached the University of Nevada, Reno. During his time at Nevada, Allen went 114-89 seasons over seven seasons and even went for the Big Sky championships. He later became the head coach for the Sacramento Monarchs of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 1999 to 2001 when he retired.
During his time at Old Dominion University, college basketball was segregated in the state especially in Virginia where there were a lot of African- American players. Sonny pushed his way through to ensure that his players were given an equal chance despite being victims of racial discrimination. His players sometimes had to sleep in the gyms because almost all of the hotels in Virginia were segregated. He believed in doing the right thing no matter what the prevailing thought would be or the public opinion. He was a courageous man and gave equal opportunity to everybody who wanted to play basketball.
After retiring Allen contracted the West Nile virus and he almost died after being bitten by a mosquito in Louisiana in July 2006. He was in a critical condition for a few days and even had seizures. West Nile Virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito, occurring mostly during the summer season. Allen received awards at Old Dominion, Southern Methodist University and, the University of Nevada for his coaching achievements from the state of West Virginia. He was also awarded by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, naming him as a Distinguished Mountaineer. He was a basketball coach for 40 years and showed true passion for coaching and had admirable leadership skills.
Sonny Allen Zodiac Sign
His zodiac sign was Aries. He was courageous, very determined, and confident in everything he does, enthusiastic, optimistic, honest, and passionate, and a gentleman. He was tolerant to people he comes into contact with, respectful of different personalities, and open. He liked taking on leadership roles, physical challenges and individual sports. He disliked inactivity, delays, and work that does not use one’s talents.
Sonny Allen Body Measurements
His height was approximately 6 inches 5 feet and he weighed approximately 97kg.
How Did Sonny Allen Die?
Sonny Allen died on 11 September 2020 in Reno, Nevada, United States at the age of 84. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease for years and had gotten worse in the last few months of his life. He had a problem in his brain that made him become unable to talk, balance, and coordinate his body well. He was also shaking and very stiff and spent most of the time in the hospital. It could only be treated through deep brain stimulation. Billy, Sonny’s eldest son, mentioned his dad as a real fighter of the disease who endured the suffering. He was an awesome dad to them. His entire family was in Reno when he died. He has left behind eight grand-children, five great grandchildren and also two adopted sons namely Jimmy Warner and Tedi Holdmann. He was mourned from coast to coast. He will be missed by many people.