Remembering Curt Allen

By CURTIS J.  PHIILLIPS, Connect Weekly

A welder by trade Curt (Curtis) Allen also brought people together.

This being National Coaching Week across Canada (September 19-27, 2015), we would like to tell you a bit about Allen, a long-time Fort McMurray coach of distinction. The youngest of seven children born to Benjamin and Tryphena, Allen grew up in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland where, according to his son Ryan: “My dad was the only one in the family that played sports… softball and hockey. The rest of them were fishermen.”

Relocating to Fort McMurray in 1983, Allen started coaching in the local minor hockey system when his sons Ryan and later Corey, took the ice as five-year old boys playing in the Tom Thumb division.

Due to the four-year age difference between his sons, it was common for Allen to head coach or assist with their two respective teams during the season.

“He got me until Pee Wee, and Corey until Bantam,” says Ryan by telephone from Drayton Valley, Alberta, where he is associate coach and assistant General Manager with the Alberta Junior Hockey League Drayton Valley Thunder.

 

”He was a player’s coach. Very fair, but very strict. He also had a good relationship with the kids. He always asked how they were doing and their families, but he knew there was a line between coach and friend and knew when it was time to be a hard ass and when to be a friend.”

Allen was also proud, rightfully so, of the various provincial and tournament banners that his teams won.

“I would say he used to brag about it,” joked Ryan. “But he knew he had a good group of players that were coachable. Regardless of the championships, he was more proud of the steps they made as players and people. It was not about winning, it was about developing players and people.”

He was also proud of his two sons Ryan and Corey. Ryan would play five years for the hometown AJHL Fort McMurray Oil Barons (2002-2007: 170 regular season games, 50 goals, 69 assists) followed by five seasons at Brock University (2007-2012: 135 games, 22 goals, 43 assists). He would then enter the coaching ranks, two years as an assistant coach with the Oil Barons before relocating to his present duties in Drayton Valley.

Ryan, now 29, recalls the time when he scored four goals, a Texas Hat trick, against the Calgary Royals in an AJHL game and when he arrived home his father Curt asked, “Good game. But why did you not get five or six goals?”

An avid fisherman, Allen also dabbled in darts where he carried the nickname Terminator. In hockey, he was known to his players as Colonel Curt. A long-time fan of the Montreal Canadiens, he was a collector of hockey cards and memorabilia.

Of the relationship between Allen and his sons.

“He is my hero,” said Ryan, pausing for a few moments, emotions playing their natural role. “Just a great role model. He put everyone else first, be it work, family, hockey. We live on through him.”

“He is my hero,” said Ryan, pausing for a few moments, emotions playing their natural role. “Just a great role model. He put everyone else first, be it work, family, hockey. We live on through him.”

Curt Allen, who was a Type 1 diabetic for 40 years, had a heart attack and passed away at the age of 56 on August 18th, 2015. He is survived by his wife Rosalind and sons Ryan (Courtney) and Corey.

Catch you on the rebound.

– Connect Weekly –