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Sources have confirmed that Jerry Allen's contract will not be renewed for next season

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - St. Helens head boys' basketball coach Jerry Allen reacts during the Lions' loss to Liberty on Jan 14 in the NWOC opener. Allen won't return as the coach next winter, according to athletic department sources.When boys’ basketball tips off next season in St. Helens, Jerry Allen will no longer be patrolling the sideline.

Sources inside the St. Helens athletics department confirmed Thursday that Allen’s contract would not be renewed this spring, but declined to comment on the reasoning behind the decision, or whether it had come from the department or from Allen.

Neither Allen nor Athletics Director Cyndy Miller could be reached for comment before Thursday’s press deadline.

The Lions finished 4-19 in their 2013-14 campaign, losing 11 straight after beating Scappoose and The Dalles in the season’s first two games. The Lions also swept Rex Putnam in the season series for their only two league victories.

Over the course of the season, the team dropped more than a handful of games after holding a lead late in the contest, prompting Allen’s criticism of the team’s toughness on defense.

Allen became known for having high standards for his athletes, even commenting in one interview that one player said he was “mean.” Allen responded saying he wasn’t mean, he was just tough, but that he would work on adjusting his approach to become more of a teacher and less of an enforcer.

The vacancy leaves St. Helens with two coaching positions to fill, adding to the boys’ soccer coach that has yet to be hired. The Lions will graduate seven seniors from their varsity squad, including captain Tanner Long and senior forward Corey West, who combined to lead the team in scoring in nearly every game.

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