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Photo Dan Allen
1956 - 2004

Ex-Holy Cross football coach dies from multiple chemical sensitivity

By Catholic News Service

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) A funeral Mass was celebrated May 21 at St. Paul's Cathedral in Worcester for Dan Allen, who coached the football team at the College of the Holy Cross from 1996 through 2003.

Allen, 48, died May 16 at his home in Westboro after a prolonged struggle with multiple chemical sensitivity. The illness robbed him of his mobility from the neck down. His wife, Laura, and their three children, Mark, Taylor and Danielle, were at his side when he died.

He announced last August that he had the condition. Allen coached the entire 2003 season in a wheelchair. He had to take a medical leave during the 2002 season but returned to coach the final four games.

"Dan Allen was a man of tremendous courage," said Jesuit Father Michael C. McFarland, Holy Cross president, in a statement issued by the college. "He was greatly admired, respected and loved by his players and colleagues. He was a strong and passionate leader, deeply devoted to his players, not just as athletes, but as persons as well."

Holy Cross fired Allen as its football coach after a 1-11 season in 2003, but he remained on the college payroll.

For his head coaching career at Holy Cross, Allen had an overall 26-63 mark. His best season was in 2000 when the Crusaders finished with a 7-4 record and Allen was named the New England Coach of the Year.

He had been an assistant coach at Holy Cross, 1982-89. In his last four seasons as an assistant coach, focusing on the offense, the Crusaders boasted a 40-4 record.

Allen's his first head coaching job was at Boston University; he was there in 1990-95. In six seasons there, Allen's record was 35-34. His 12-1 record in 1993 earned him accolades from the region's sportswriters and the Eddie Robinson Award as the NCAA Division I-AA national Coach of the Year.

During his first stint at Holy Cross, and while he was coaching Boston University, Allen founded chapters of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at both schools, and stayed active in that organization.

An Ohio native, Allen was an all-conference linebacker at Hanover College in Indiana. He was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame two years ago. Allen began his coaching career in Ohio at Marianist-run University of Dayton, where he received a master's degree in 1978.

Taken from: http://www.iobserve.org/rn0525a.html


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