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A Sudden Change, and a New Adventure for Hoops Coach Tyler Allen
Former South Salem coach, abruptly out at Silverton, lands at Central High School
About a year ago at this time, former South Salem basketball coach Tyler Allen was back in the game, named as head coach at Silverton High School. After eight years at South Salem with a stellar record and three 6A semifinal appearances, he stepped away from the sidelines in 2019 after dealing with a classic case of burn out.
“I didn’t feel like I was able to give that full amount of energy,” Allen told OSAA Today.
But Tyler was ready to go at Silverton, coaching a young team that had lost a lot of varsity experience after a strong playoff run the year previous under long time coach Jamie McCarty, who decided to step away himself.
Silverton finished 9-9 under Allen in the strong Mid-Willamette Conference, good for seventh place. Their wins included upsets of playoff teams South Albany, West Albany, and Central.
All things considered, the 38-year old Allen felt like the Foxes had exceeded expectations. That is why he was a bit bewildered by a serious meeting called by Silverton AD Andrew Jones earlier this spring.
Allen was told the school was now looking for someone to coach who lived closer to Silverton—as Allen had commuted daily from Salem. Still, he was caught off guard by the sudden change of direction.
“I reached out to my assistants,” says Allen. “They were blindsided as well.”
So Tyler was out, and the Foxes rehired McCarty—who had a record of 112-13 in five seasons—as the head basketball coach.
“He is a dang good coach,” says Allen about McCarty. “He has been good for the entire community.”
“We are signed as coaches on a year-to-year basis—but this was definitely tough on my pride.”
Enter Central High School.
Former McKay High School coach Dean Sanderson had coached the Panthers for the past several seasons. Sanderson and Allen got to know and respect each other while squaring off in Salem-Keizer area contests.
Sanderson tipped Allen that he was stepping down and the Central job was open.
After pondering the opportunity, and with some encouragement from Coach Sanderson, Allen submitted his name to the candidate list.
“I was interviewed as one of the last potential candidates,” says Allen, “and I got the offer the next week from the principal.”
Tyler Allen is fresh back from a long-ago planned family vacation, and is hitting the ground running this week at Central. He and his assistants have jointly run open gyms for upwards of 35 players the past several weeks, and will be gearing up for summer league, including a short jaunt to Washington state to play teams using the shot clock—which comes to Oregon prep basketball this season. Allen says the shot clock era lines up with his emphasis on high tempo basketball.
The feel of the Central basketball program impresses Tyler. The coach talks with enthusiasm about the returnees he has from last year’s Panther playoff team. He is also excited about facilities on the Independence campus, and the overall support he is receiving from administration and the staff he has met in recent weeks. The youth basketball program is very good. It is a decidedly positive atmosphere in Monmouth-Independence.
Allen says he is at peace with the sudden turn of events in his coaching life. One big positive, his commute to Central is considerably shorter than the drive to Silverton.
And as for the upcoming season, Tyler doesn’t say it directly—but he appears eager to strut his stuff at Central in the Mid Willamette Conference, and Allen says he has heard from friends looking forward to Central’s visit to Silverton in league play this winter. Both games—home in Independence and away at Silverton—have yet to be scheduled.
This job is one Coach Allen has made clear he wants to keep for the long term. Tyler and his wife Jenny are expecting a son in September, and Tyler made it clear that he and his bride are excited to see their boy “grow up a Panther.”
Good luck, Coach.