William Allen's impending retirement from teaching after 45 years also brings to an end his 30+ years of coaching career at Pioneer.
Mr. Allen, a 6th grade teacher, recently told the story of his long Pioneer Athletics journey.
"My coaching career started when I made my way to the middle school after five years in Arcade and then Delevan. I first coached a seventh grade team and an eighth grade team that played on Saturday mornings. Those teams eventually became the boys modified team.
"I coached the boys modified under [former Pioneer boys varsity basketball coach] Mike Haskell for a couple of years until the girls modified began, and then [former Pioneer girls basketball coach] Max Payne asked me to come over to the girls program. After coaching the girls modified for a couple of years, I became the JV coach during the Joelle Connelly years.
Joelle Connelly ('08) is Pioneer's all-time leading basketball scorer with 2,300 points.
Mr. Allen continued, "During these years, I also coached the baseball team during the late 1980s and early 1990s. I coached the Junior Varsity for couple of years and then had the varsity for 12 years. Pioneer was the Division II champs for the 1993-94 seasons.
"After I left the baseball program to [current coach] Dave Buncy, I coached only basketball. I took off seven years to watch my boys play basketball. But then I returned to the girls as modified coach under Bill Connelly.
"The last four years have been the highlight of my basketball coaching, as the modified team has been undefeated in three of the last four years. There was an earlier undefeated team for a total of four."
Mr. Allen was asked about what coaching has taught him.
"I have always marveled that the players would almost run through a wall playing a sport. They were receptive to new learning, maybe because a lot of the girls did not have the same opportunities as the boys.
"Another piece that I have enjoyed is seeing players in recent years come to play for me whose moms had played for me in the past," he said.
What's Mr. Allen's advice for the next coaching generation? "Be honest with the players, take care of them, ask them to do a lot because they are capable of so much. and keep in mind you are influencing kids and you are playing an important role for the school and the community."