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Hartselle Enquirer

Longtime Patriot retires from Brewer basketball

A Brewer High School faculty member is retiring after a long career as a student, teacher and coach.

Coach Ricky Allen has worked at Brewer for 34 years, coaching at different times softball, track, volleyball, football and most recently girls varsity basketball. He also taught at Brewer for 24 years before retiring from this 10 years ago.

Before coming to Brewer as a teacher and coach, though, Allen made history as a student and athlete. He was a member of Brewer’s first graduating class. Allen also was a part of their first basketball team, which managed to make it to state in the first year.

Allen didn’t always aspire to be a coach. The Auburn University graduate began as a business major and then questioned his decision between his sophomore and junior years. At the beginning of his junior year, he made the decision to change to education.

“I was sitting in a business class when I realized it wasn’t right for me,” Allen said. “Halfway through, I got up, walked out of the building,  and walked across to the education building. I talked to a professor there and said, ‘What do I need to do to be a teacher?’.”

As a teacher and coach, Allen had a couple of goals.

“I wanted to do something I enjoyed,” he said. “You also have to care about what you do. You want to see the kids advance and improve or you are not a success. ”

Throughout his career, though, Allen also learned a lesson about perseverance that he can share with younger coaches.

“You have to endure,” he said. “Just like you tell your students, you have to work continuously. It is not always championships. There is no instant success. You have to build.”

While his career may be over, Allen does not intend to slow down but, instead, sees an opportunity to do new things. Among other interests, he and his wife plan to pursue their love of traveling.

In addition to the legacy that Allen leaves at Brewer, he also leaves high hopes that Brewer’s athletic programs, especially their girls varsity basketball program, will continue to grow and prosper.

“It is like I tell the girls,” Allen said. “There are always little girls watching what you do. If the program doesn’t continue to improve, then we didn’t do our job.”

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