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Mr. Allen Van Winkle
Graduated 1973

31 Turtleback Trail
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082


Home Phone: 904-273-2800
Work Phone: 904-285-3786
Fax: --
Email: allenvw1@aol.com

Allen’s Living Memorial to Coach Shipley is being used for the Shipley Tribute. It includes many of his experiences as a student coach under
Coach Shipley. Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on Oct. 1, 2017.

Basketball student assistant coach 1969-73.

Married to Connie Underwood in 1968 Children: Wendy and her husband, Mark, and their three children, Rachel, Emily and Andrea, reside in Cape Girardeau, Mo; Casey (Born in Lafayette, La.) and his wife, Julie, and their child, Alison, reside in Carbondale, IL; Holly and her husband, Dave, reside in St. Charles, Mo. My wife and I are both from Lafayette, Indiana.

I had wanted to coach basketball for about as long as I can remember. After high school I was off to St. Johns River Junior College in Florida on a basketball and baseball scholarship. During one of my Christmas breaks I was on my way back to Indiana and decided to go through Lafayette, La and look at USL. I was always researching where I wanted to go after junior college. It just so happened that on my stop over at USL that day, they were playing the first night of the Bayou Classic. I was hooked as they say. The players played with great enthusiasm and the crowd was great. It was good basketball. When I got back to school I wrote the coaching staff and told them of my interest in coming to USL, hopefully to play, but I also mentioned my interest in coaching. I got a nice letter back saying I was welcome to “walk on” if I were in school but that they had no aid available and weren’t really recruiting guards at that time.

After junior college I had some scholarship offers to smaller schools but had my heart set on USL. I arrived at USL in 1969. Basketball started. I made a few cuts and was still in the group of 15 or so which coach kept for practice. I was proud of that but I was also beginning to realize I probably was not going to get to play much, if at all. These guys were good! It was getting a little old trying to guard this Lamar guy in practice as part of the scout squad and I do mean just trying. After about six weeks of practice I spoke with Coach Shipley and Coach Cox about my interest in coaching and asked if there was some way I could help. Just like they have helped so many through the years the said yes and I spent the next four years as a student coach learning from the best.

What a great experience for me. They involved me on the practice floor, breaking down film, scouting, and at game time. During two of the four years I worked for coach I also coached the Freshman Team. I could not have possibly received a better education anywhere in coaching basketball than I got from Coach Shipley and Coach Cox during those four seasons. Just as important Connie and I will always be grateful for the friendship they and their families showed us during our time in Lafayette.

Highlights during that time for me (69-73) were of course the trip to Evansville for the College Division National Finals and the two Sweet 16 Division I Regional appearances. I’m convinced if we could have gotten past a very good Louisville team during one of those regionals, we would have eventually played for the National Championship. Who knows how it would have turned out but with that team and the best two coaches I know on the bench, I would have liked our chances.

The biggest highlights for me and Connie during those years were of course the birth of our daughter Wendy and our son Casey. They, along with our daughter Holly, have given us many years of fun and joy. Other highlights for me during this time were my experiences with the freshman teams, learning how to run my own practices, coach during a game and gaining insight in to how to get the best out of each individual. I will always be thankful for the experiences that Coach Shipley let me have with the program. They were the foundation of the next 15 years of my coaching career.

Before closing I must tell you one quick anecdote about one of my freshman team trips. We were in Houston to play the University of Houston freshman team before one of there varsity games. It was one of the rare overnight trips we took. We had played a junior college the night before in Baytown and had the day to kill before we had to get ready at about 5:00pm for our game that night. I thought it would be a good idea to get the guys out and do something during the day instead of laying around the hotel. So I arranged for us to take an hour tour of the Astrodome that afternoon and then we would go on to the game. The Astrodome was fairly new at that time and we had guys on the team who had not been around Texas before. So we’re with this group of about 50 people, walking around the upper level of the Astrodome while the host is explaining to my guys and the group how many cubic tons of air conditioning are required to cool the building and how many linear feet of support was needed to support the structure of the roof etc. while down below on the floor of the building bulldozers are grading mounds of dirt across the entire area getting ready for some type of motor cross event. All you could see was dirt. Well, needless to say some of my guys weren’t into cubic tons and linear feet, etc., so I guess your mind wonders and sometimes in this fog of thought you must think you come with a good idea.
We had stopped for a second when the host said to all of us on the tour are there any questions. There was silence and then one of the outstanding thinkers on our team yells out from the back as serious as the day is long “hey coach, this place is big enough to play baseball in!” It broke everybody up. Well, after everyone was done laughing the host told the 50 people on the tour that we have a college basketball team with us today and like to recognize them and the young man who feels playing baseball here in the Astrodome might be something for us to consider. And then he said, ” Coach where are you from, at which time I proudly announced to the crowed, LSU.” Always thinking coach. I suspect that story has been told a few times by others thru the years who were there that day. I trust the player is still from LSU when they tell the story.

Well, in closing Connie and I left USL the summer of 73 and took our first full time assistant coaching position at Cal Poly University in California. After four years at Cal Poly I was at West Texas State as an assistant, then three years at Jackson Community College in Michigan as Athletic Director/Head Basketball Coach and then at Southern Illinois University for four years as Head Basketball Coach. I left coaching at this time to accept a position as Assistant Athletic Director/Development at Jacksonville Community College in Jacksonville, FL. In 1986 I took a position as Manager of The Plantation at Ponte Vedra a private country club in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Connie teaches science in middle school in the same community. This is where we are today. Once again a big thank you to Coach Shipley and his family for making our life richer and giving us so many wonderful memories. Congratulations coach on this special event honoring you. You deserve it. You’ve earned it. You,Tom, your families and Lafayette are the BEST! Thanks Ed for all your efforts in pulling this off.