High School Sports

Defenders standout returns to coach boys

Mike Allen, one of the brightest stars in Bryan Station basketball history, is the Defenders' new boys' coach. He replaces Champ Ligon, who resigned at the end of the season.

"Bryan Station has always been a community school, and I remember it since the days of Melvin Turpin and Leroy Byrd when I was a little kid," Allen said. "So from the standpoint of coming back home, it feels good.

"But it's not about Mike Allen. There's been a lot of great players and coaches who built a tradition here that we want to build on."

Allen, 39, is coordinator of the Youth Services Center at Bryan Station Middle School.

He got his start in coaching as an assistant at Bryan Station, Henry Clay and Tates Creek.

He became head girls' coach at Bryan Station in 2005 and posted a two-year record of 17-41. He left the Lady Defenders to get into boys' coaching at Frankfort, where he went 13-40 in two seasons.

Bryan Station athletic director Chad Luhman said people might question Allen's record as a head coach, but Luhman said both situations were difficult to win in.

"Mike was caught in stages where (Bryan Station's girls) were rebuilding, and (Frankfort) was a small school where football players were late getting out for basketball.

"He was moving both those programs in the right direction. He's been an assistant (boys') coach in the city, so he knows the ins and outs, and what it takes to be successful here."

Bryan Station assistant principal John Barnes said the committee that selected Allen was impressed by his "engagement in the community. A lot of our kids know him, and he knows basketball.

"We feel he's the right guy at the right time."

Allen scored a city record 2,408 points in his playing days at Bryan Station, and in his senior season led the Defenders to their last Sweet Sixteen appearance in 1989.

He helped Connors State (Okla.) win a national junior college title before going on to have a standout career at Southwestern Louisiana. He was Sun Belt Conference player of the year in 1993-94.

Allen knows the challenges he faces in the 11th Region.

"You don't win with just talent and athletic ability in this region," he said. "You've got to play smart, fundamental basketball, too."

Ashland gets Evans

Will Evans, who led Lexington Christian in points, rebounds and assists last season, signed Wednesday with Ashland University, a Division II school in Ashland, Ohio.

The 6-foot-7 senior was also recruited by Air Force and Kentucky Wesleyan.

Evans averaged 18.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists this season.