If Kentucky ever gave a “Mr. Basketball” designation to a senior citizen, it could have gone to Allen Feldhaus Sr.
Feldhaus, 77, died early Oct. 28 in hospice near Kenton Station, the golf course he owned in Maysville. His son, Allen Feldhaus Jr., the boys’ basketball coach at Madison Central High School in Richmond, said his father had battled cancer for nine years.
Feldhaus ran the golf course with his son Deron Feldhaus, who was one of the four “Unforgettables” on the 1991-92 University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, which also included Richie Farmer, John Pelphrey and Sean Woods. That team played the regional final against Duke that is considered one of the greatest college games ever played and ended with Christian Laettner’s last-second game-winning shot at the buzzer.
Feldhaus Sr. played basketball for Adolph Rupp from 1958-62, according to Allen Feldhaus Jr. He was a forward in basketball, a catcher in UK baseball. After graduation he played for the Washington Senators minor league baseball team.
Returning to Kentucky, Feldhaus coached at high schools for 27 years, first at Russell County, then at Mason County through most of the ‘80s.
Allen Feldhaus Jr. said his father excelled at motivating his teams: “He was very old-school, and I’m sure playing for Rupp had a lot to do with that. ... I don’t think I’ve ever seen a coach who could get more out of less talent than he did. You don’t find many coaches like Dad any more.”
His third son, Willie, coaches boys’ basketball at Louisville Male High School.
In addition to his sons, Feldhaus is survived by his wife, Leanne, five granddaughters and one grandson.
Visitation is Monday from 4 to 9 p.m. at Moore & Parker Funeral Home in Maysville. The funeral is at 1 p.m. Tuesday, followed by a celebration of life at Kenton Station golf course.
After battling cancer for nine years, Feldhaus Jr. said, his father had come to terms with his impending death: “He was at peace when he passed.”