Wichita native Allen named Newman basketball coach

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Wichita East graduate R.J. Allen was named the seventh head men's basketball coach in Newman University history, Jets athletic director Vic Trilli announced Thursday.

Allen spent the last six seasons on 19-year veteran Mark Potter's staff. The last two seasons Allen was the associate head coach.

"It feels great," Allen said. "I am excited and blessed to have an opportunity to be here in Wichita, my hometown. I'm very appreciative of the chance to be here and to be chosen as the next person to lead this program. I want to thank my wife, who has a lot to put up with as a coach's wife, and I'm thankful for it every day. I also want to thank my two sons, and my parents for supporting me along the way."

Allen was a two-time all-city and all-state performer at East High School helping the Blue Aces win the 2002 6A state title. He then went to Hutchinson Community College and was a captain on their 2003-04 KJCCC championship team. After Hutch, Allen went to Concordia University in St. Paul, Minn., where he closed out the final two years of his playing career, before spending another five there as a coach.

Allen will be formally introduced at a press conference on Friday morning.