Allen coached '03 season from a wheelchair

Updated: May 17, 2004, 11:59 AM ET
Associated Press

WESTBORO, Mass. -- Dan Allen, who coached the Holy Cross football team from a wheelchair all of last season, died at 48.

Allen died Sunday at his home in Westboro after his health deteriorated in recent weeks. He was with his wife and children when he died, the school said Monday.

Allen said last August he had multiple chemical sensitivity, an illness that robbed him of his mobility from the neck down.

During the 2002 season he took a medical leave but returned to coach the final four games. His career coaching record was 61-97 over 14 years. Allen was fired as head coach in November after a 1-11 season but remained employed by the college.

"He cares about the whole individual, not just the football player," lineman Chris Jones said.

Allen was a Holy Cross assistant from 1982-89 before becoming head coach at Boston University. He was 35-34 in six years at BU, including an 11-0 season in 1993 that earned him Division I-AA coach of the year honors. Allen returned to Holy Cross for the 1996 season.

He is survived by wife Laura and children Mark, Taylor and Danielle.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press