By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Jeff Allen, who has guided Bedford North Lawrence to a sectional championship in each season as head coach, was named the coach of the Indiana All-Stars on Monday.
Allen, who owns an impressive 133-31 record in six years with the Stars, will guide the Hoosiers in the annual June home-and-home series with Kentucky. Indiana leads the series, which started in 1976, by a 50-38 count.
“It’s very humbling, to be considered for that honor and to be included with those people that have preceded me and done such a phenomenal job,” Allen said. “It took me by surprise that I was even considered. It’s just an honor to be chosen, to be in a select few. It’s a highlight of my coaching career, something I will cherish my whole life.”
Allen is the third BNL coach to be chosen for the All-Star spot. Pete Pritchett coached the Indiana girls in 1985, leading the Hoosiers to a sweep of Kentucky. Dan Bush led the Indiana boys to a pair of wins in 1990. Bedford’s Paul Lostutter coached the Indiana boys to a 41-40 win in 1942.
Allen took over the BNL program after Kurt Godlevske and Damon Bailey took the Stars to back-to-back state championships. He has won six sectionals and two regionals, including the regional title this season.
“I’m so appreciative of the people that have helped me achieve that,” Allen said. “My coaching staff, all the great players I’ve had here, all the support from the administration. No man is an island, you don’t do it alone. For me to have the opportunity to coach the All-Star team, there’s a lot of people that need to take a little credit besides just me. I’ve got a lot of good people around me.”
Allen’s assistants with the All-Stars will include Donna Buckley of Noblesville (162-109 in 12 seasons with the Millers, 258-183 in 20 years overall) and Doug Springer of Northridge (219-93 record in 13 seasons with the Raiders, 271-111 in 16 years overall).
“They’ve both been coaching a long time and have had tremendous careers,” Allen said. “They’ve had great players and great teams. I’m going to lean on them a lot.
“I’m going to have really good players, so I hope they make me look really smart.”
The Indiana roster will be announced later this month. Leading candidates for the 2020 squad include Northwestern’s Madison Layden and Kendall Bostic, Hamilton Southeastern’s Sydney Parrish, and North Central’s Jasmine McWilliams.
”We’re going to have a lot of high-IQ kids, we’re going to be fairly long, and they’ll be able to execute,” Allen said. “The thing about an All-Star team, you don’t have a lot of time to prep, so you have to keep it fairly simple but put some stuff in that will work. So it will be a good transition to get them where we feel like we can compete.
“And these kids are all winners. A lot of them will come from programs that have won, and that’s one thing I will convey to them. We’re out there to win. We’re going to play as absolutely hard as we can, represent the state like I like kids to represent Bedford North Lawrence, with a lot of pride, a lot of passion, a lot of effort.
“That’s the thing about having talented players. You can put about any offense you want out there. If you have talent, it’s going to look pretty good. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Allen is already familiar with the experience. His daughters Jenna (2015) and Jorie (Miss Basketball in 2019) were members of the All-Stars.
Indiana will play Kentucky on June 5 (in Kentucky) and June 6 (at Southport).