Written by Tabor College Wednesday, 14 March 2007 18:00Tabor has announced the resignation of coach Rusty Allen, and has selected Shawn Winter to be Allen's successor. After six seasons, two conference championships and three consecutive runs at a national title, Rusty Allen will resign as Tabor College's head women's basketball coach.
Former assistant coach and Tabor graduate Shawn Winter will return and provide leadership to the program. Winter previously served as Allen's assistant for four years.
Allen's decision was motivated by a number of things, he said, but the primary reason was family.
"I just want to give more time to my family," he said. "(The timing of my decision) has more to do with knowing I'm leaving the program in good hands with Shawn Winter."
Winter is excited about taking on the new role, not only because he sees it as an opportunity to coach but also because he views it as a ministry allowing him to become involved in the lives of players, recruits, coaching staff and parents.
"I'm really looking forward to building relationships more than anything else, and giving leadership to the basketball program," said Winter, who is quick to compliment Allen on laying a good foundation for the program.
"He brought a lot of stability and a tradition to the program," he continued. "He set the bar high for everyone, so it's going to be challenging to keep up to that level. I'm excited about the challenge."
Allen's conference record is 82-26, and his overall record at Tabor stands at 128-59. The Lady Jays advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NAIA division II women's basketball tournament the last three seasons.
"God was so good to just bless so many things we did," he said. "My goal was to get to the point where we could win a conference championship and compete in the national tournament. I never really dreamed that we would be able to do that - get to the national tournament - in three consecutive years."
Allen and his staff tried to build the program around two principles: creating an environment where people are encouraged to grow in Christ and being a championship caliber team.
"Ultimately there is a thrill to winning and society lifts you up if you're a winner," he said. "But that isn't the reason why I want a championship caliber team. I want a championship caliber team because excellence enhances ministry."
Winter understands that philosophy, and while he says he still has a lot to learn since this is his first head-coaching job, he is "looking forward to those challenges and doing everything we can to keep the tradition going."