WAXHAW, NC – An honor like Coach of the Year doesn’t come around every day, but Dustin Allen, Head Varsity Track Coach at Cuthbertson High School, was awarded two Coach of the Year trophies recently: Southern Carolina Conference Boy’s Coach of the Year and Southern Carolina Conference Girl’s Coach of the Year. It’s unusual to win both, but it really points to the quality of the program that Allen is running. “I understand as the Head Coach that I won Coach of the Year,” Allen stated, “but this isn’t done by one person. I truly believe I have the best staff in the state and they deserve more credit than myself.”
Allen runs his program a little differently than most as he has a “No Cut” policy for his teams. Instead, Allen encourages his students to keep trying events until they find an event that works for them. This means that in 2019/2020 there were 270 members of the team, and in 2020/2021 there are 148 members (the lower number was due to COVID-19). Members of the team are in 9th through 12th grade at Cuthbertson High School, and as long as they show up and try, they will stay on the team. Allen is very proud to have had nine graduates sign Track and Field Scholarships out of his 27 Seniors. Allen also coached several award-winning athletes: Jacob Koerner won SCC Track Athlete of the Year and Ellie Sawicki won Girl’s Field Athlete of the Year.
When Allen started as Head Coach six years ago, it was him along with two other coaches working with 22 runners. He had experience coaching football but had never participated in Track and Field before he started coaching. Eventually, the wins started coming in, and his Girl’s Team has won the last four years in the Indoor State Championships. Unfortunately, 2020/2021 was a rough year for school athletics. Scouts have just started to begin traveling to find scholarship candidates, and Allen had to replace every coach on staff. However, he has found some great new coaches to join his team, and the team has grown because of it. This year, eight out of ten of Cuthbertson’s School Records were broken by the Boy’s Team, proving that it is all coming together.
Up next for Allen and the teams? The Boy’s and Girl’s team are heading to Regionals the weekend of June 19 and then to the State Championship Meet on June 26. On June 29, the Union County Trek Club will run in Oregon with 16 members (while the Club meet isn’t a school event, Allen is still ready to support his runners!).
“Track builds on itself year after year,” Allen says. “You can be bad when you start but can learn how to be good. No raw talent is needed, just hard work and you will get better year after year.” Congratulations to Dustin Allen, 2021 SCC Boy’s Coach of the Year and 2021 SCC Girl’s Coach of the Year.