Thank you, Jerome

Jerome Allen won his final 43 Ivy games as a player for Penn from 1992-95, but he lost 103 games since taking over as Penn head coach in Dec. 2009.
Jerome Allen won his final 43 Ivy games as a player for Penn from 1992-95, but he lost 103 games since taking over as Penn head coach in Dec. 2009.

Although I feel compelled to write something about our head coach being fired, there is little I can add that hasn’t already been said elsewhere.

A stellar man of character, universally loved on campus, superb athlete and Penn hoops legend (probably the finest Ivy League player I’ve ever seen), who was to resurrect our program following the Glen Miller disaster. Objectively, the results never materialized. Why? Who knows? It is impossible to speculate. Perhaps outside of the team’s inner sanctum, no one will ever know. Regardless, I don’t think anyone would argue that he was given more than a fair chance to succeed.

Although I have been critical of the Penn Hoops program in this forum, I have been careful not to criticize The Coach directly. In fact, I have tried to be one of his biggest advocates.
I have always wanted him succeed not just for Penn, but mostly for himself. Still, in the end, the responsibility inevitably falls on the man in charge. Coaching varsity sports on a national level is a harsh avocation. It is the classic “What have you done for me lately?” profession. Even someone who consistently puts forth his best efforts, which Jerome undeniably did, can still fall short. Thus I am sure he understands that a business, not personal, decision was made.

My best memory of Jerome Allen was of him streaking down the sideline against Nebraska in the NCAA tournament. Without looking, he fired off a stylish behind-the-back pass to his teammate to propel Penn into the second round. I am certain Jerome Allen’s next round will be just as stylish.

Stay Red and Blue my Friend,

The AQ

6 thoughts on “Thank you, Jerome”

  1. Indeed I was, but I do think Jerome was better. Obviously Tony et al went farther, but a proud father doesn’t choose between his sons.

    The AQ

  2. I have never met Jerome Allen, however everyone I know who does know him has uniformly opined that he is a first-rate individual in all respects. My own observations agree.

  3. If, as has been said here, Jerome Allen is a first-class individual, then he will be back. He has learned so much from this “Penn head coach” chapter of his life. Whether he decides to coach somewhere else or take his life in a different direction, he will be back, and he will be better. Good luck, Jerome! Thank you for all you have given to this league!

  4. When The AQ describes an individual as the “finest Ivy League player I have ever seen” you must take notice, if for no other reason than the fact that he has seen them ALL. You know, as well, that he is describing a Penn Quaker. In this case, he’s describing Allen and his praise is both understandable and justified. During Allen’s last three years at Penn my son, TigerCub, was working as Carril’s student manager. Penn was 6-0 vs. Princeton in those years due mostly, according to TigerCub, to the efforts of Jerome Allen, the best player HE saw!
    Overall, Penn was 95-24 in Allen’s career, a glittering 51-5(!) in the League, including 42-0 for his last three years. That’s right, 42-0….He was unanimously recognized as Ivy POY twice. While I wasn’t too happy about it at the time, I can only tip my hat to you, Jerome Allen, and wish you the very best in whatever you choose to do.

  5. While I only go back as far as the mid 1980s, Jerome Allen was the best Ivy League player that I have personally seen.

    There are so many great JA memories. Just a few:
    – Hitting a last minute three pointer from NBA range to beat St. Joe’s at the Spectrum in 1993 to break the Hawks’ 13 year winning streak
    – Hugging his mother on the court at the Nassau Coliseum moments after helping to crush Nebraska in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament
    – Hitting a last second two point game winner on the road against #25 Michigan silencing the Crisler Arena crowd in the early part of the 1994 season
    – Dominating #25 St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in the finals of the 1994 Holiday Festival. The Penn faithful at the game serenading the tournament MVP with a chant of “NBA, NBA, NBA” as he had his post-game interview.

    The DP has had a good series of interviews with former players, teammates and members of the Penn Basketball Board. These individuals, as well as the people at IHO and the Ivy League Message Board, are all aware of how good a person JA is and how much he tried to make things work. Even though the team appears to have turned a significant corner over the last 3 and 1/2 games, the on and off court results of the last several years have led to an understandable coaching change. Fortunately, he has left the program with a number of solid players as the team seeks to get back to the top of the Ivy League.

    No matter how things ended, there is no doubt that Jerome remains a huge part of the University of Pennsylvania, as well as its storied basketball program. For me, and hopefully most others, he will always be a Quaker legend.

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