Exeter coach, atheltic director stepping down

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Exeter's Jay Allen, center, has announced that this will be his last year at the school. Allen has been with the Exeter School District since 2009. Jared Lankford sports@cassville-democrat.com

Allen said decision is one of the hardest he's ever had to make

Jay Allen, Exeter athletic director and boys basketball coach, has announced this year will be his final season at the district.

Jay's wife, Heather, who works for Cargill, received a promotion and took a position with the company in their California, Mo., office.

"Personally, it is the hardest decision I have ever had to make," Allen said. "Professionally, it is the best thing for my family."

Allen came to Exeter in 2009 after a short teaching stint at Pilot Grove High School.

Allen said then-athletic director Jason Cole gave him his break.

"I will forever be in his debt for allowing me to get my foot in the coaching door," Allen said. "Jason was like a brother to me. He was someone that I could bounce ideas off of and could get advice from. Working with him made me a better person."

Over the next six years, Allen's role at Exeter expanded to include head coaching stints of the girls and boys basketball teams, baseball team, volleyball team and softball team.

When Cole left Exeter two years ago, it was Allen who was tapped to be his successor.

"This community was great and embraced me," Allen said. "I have served as pallbearer at a funeral, been asked to cater barbecue for a local groups event. I was honored to be included."

Allen added it would be impossible to thank everyone that made him feel welcome or helped along his journey in the district. He knew that if he tried to name them all, he would leave out someone.

He did say that the students made his time in Exeter unforgettable.

"I taught physical education in the elementary and high school levels," Allen said. "We have some cool kids in this district and to see them smile and have fun in my class, to me is what education in all about."

Allen has already applied for positions in the California-Eldon area. He is confident that he will be a coach and teacher next season.

He and his wife have two daughters, Isabel, 8, and Sophia, 6.

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