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Allison, former Union AD, dies

By Bob Weiner
Saturday, December 21, 2013

Former Union College athletic director and men's lacrosse coach Bruce Allison died today in Golden, Colo., at age 83.

During his career at Union, which started in 1958, he coached varsity wrestling, varsity men's lacrosse and freshman football. He was a physical education instructor. Allison was named the Director of Athletics and chairman of physical education in 1971. As the Director of Athletics, Allison established six intercollegiate women's programs. He coached the men's lacrosse program for 19 seasons (1958-1976), and had many memorable victories, including wins in 1966 and 1974 over Syracuse. The 1966 team was 10-1 and ended the season with nine straight victories, while the 1974 team set a then-school record with 11 wins and reached the ECAC finals.

"Coach Allison was the driving force behind the current NCAA tournament, which had over 50,000 in attendance last spring," said current lacrosse coach Paul Wehrum. "His impact on the sport of lacrosse will be felt for generations to come. He was a leader and educator of the highest magnitude."

Allison was inducted into the Union Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. He joined his 1966 lacrosse Dutchmen as they were inducted as a team of distinction into Hall of Fame in 2010. Allison was inducted as one of seven members of the induction class for 2011 for the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Hunt Valley, MD.

In 2013, the 1967-68 wrestling team was inducted into the Union Athletics Hall of Fame, and many of those student-athletes had competed for Allison, who coached them the previous season. These men paid tribute to their former coach in the acceptance speech at the 2013 induction ceremony, and Allison watched it live that evening via live video.

A two-time president of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association, Allison is credited with developing and implementing the current NCAA lacrosse playoff system (1971). Allison is also credited with forming the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Lacrosse League (1978). Allison coached men's lacrosse and served as the director of athletics at the Colorado School of Mines from 1976-1995, and was inducted into the Colorado Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame in 1995.

 
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