UNC Wilmington to Rename Natatorium in Honor of Coach David B. Allen

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Photo Courtesy: UNC Wilmington

UNC Wilmington to Rename Natatorium in Honor of Coach David B. Allen

UNC Wilmington will rename its aquatics facility the David B. Allen Natatorium, in honor of the coach who led the Seahawks for 37 years.

The school announced the decision on Wednesday. A formal dedication ceremony will be scheduled at a later date.

“I am truly humbled and appreciative of this honor in my name,” Allen said in a university press release. “During my coaching career at UNCW, I was very fortunate to come in contact with many talented and professional faculty, staff and student athletes who became lifelong friends. I will be forever grateful to UNCW for the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Allen called what is for now Seahawk Natatorium his office from 1977-2014. A native of Rochester, N.Y. who swam at Springfield College in Massachusetts, he spent one season coaching at Allegheny College and six at Potsdam State before arriving in North Carolina to establish the program in 1977-78.

He collected 494 of his 542 career dual-meet wins in the 37 seasons in Wilmington, against 356 losses. Allen coached 15 All-Americans, six NCAA qualifiers and 155 conference champions with UNCW. He led the Seahawks to 16 conference team titles (13 for the men, in a streak of Colonial Athletic Association dominance from 2002-14) and two Eastern titles. The women won ECAC titles in 1997 and 1998. Allen was a 15-time CAA coach of the year.

Allen retired in 2014. He was inducted to the North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame in 2019 and the UNCW Athletic Hall of Fame in 2020. All three of his children swam at and graduated from UNCW.

“We’re extremely pleased to pay tribute to one of the most beloved head coaches in the history of our program,” UNCW’s athletic director Jimmy Bass said in a university statement. “It’s only fitting that the facility be named in honor of the person that established the swimming and diving program and made it so successful. We’re grateful to Dave and his family for their many contributions to Seahawk swimming and diving.”

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Dan from Potsdam
5 months ago

Coach Allen was a great influence on my life and this is a well deserved honor