SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- This past Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006, Springfield College coaching icon Archie P. Allen, 93, of Springfield, Mass., died peacefully at Reeds Landing.
Archie Allen is one of the best-known and one of the more well-respected coaches in Springfield College history. So revered was Archie that he was selected to the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame’s first class in 1972.
Archie Allen ’37 will be best remembered as an outstanding baseball coach. He was Springfield College’s head baseball coach from 1948 through 1978, inclusive. His 454 victories are, by far, the most ever by an SC baseball coach, and rank among the very tops in all of Springfield College history in any sport. His 454-257-7 overall record was good for a very impressive .637 winning percentage.
In its baseball history, Springfield College has reached the College World Series four times. Archie was the head coach for three of those appearances (1951, 1955, and 1970). Three times in Archie’s tenure, SC earned New England College Division Champion status (1969, 1970, and 1971). Once in Archie’s tenure, SC was crowned ECAC Champion (1977). And seven times in Archie’s tenure, SC reached the NCAA Division II Tournament. His 1970 squad not only reached the Division II College World Series, but also finished fourth, the highest finish ever for an SC baseball team. In his last year at the helm, Archie’s team won 26 games, his second- highest win total (behind only the 27 wins of his 1969 club) in his 31 seasons.
Archie’s Springfield College Hall of Fame plaque is relatively simple, but states the obvious. It says: Twice National Coach of the Year, College Baseball Hall of Fame, and, finally, Outstanding in Baseball and Football.
Right up through last July, when he made his last appearance on campus as a still very viable member of the Springfield College Athletic Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, Archie was as vibrant, boisterous, and opinioned as ever. As he always did, he lit up the room when he entered.
In a glowing tribute written by long-time friend Garry Brown of the Springfield Republican in Friday (Nov. 3) morning’s editions, Brown wrote the following paragraph. “In his later years, Archie became wheelchair-bound, but never lost his passion for baseball, or his wry sense of humor. For example, this was the message on his answering machine when I called him recently, ‘I’m out playing baseball. Leave your number and I’ll call you back.’”
Archie P. Allen – beloved and respected – will be long remembered at Springfield College, not only for his coaching prowess, but also for his teaching skills and his love of his students. Archie, you will be missed.
A memorial service will be held on December 2, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. in the Marsh Memorial Chapel, located on the SC campus. That is the same day as an already-planned baseball reunion. The family requests that donations be offered to the Archie Allen Scholarship Fund, Springfield College, 263 Alden Street, Springfield, MA 01109 or to the American Diabetes Association, 1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22311.