News New Pangburn baseball coach excited about challenge

New Pangburn baseball coach excited about challenge

The correlation between mental strength and baseball is subtle, but the main ideology is quite simple because in baseball you can fail two out of three times, but still be considered a success.

“My passion for baseball and how it is such a mental game is what took me to psychology,” said Austin Allen, the new baseball coach at Pangburn High School. “There is so much to it. That was what made me study psychology in the first place. I wanted to find out how and why people work. ”

Allen, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, was hired as the school’s head baseball coach in January. 4. This is his first head coaching job. Allen interned at Little Rock Christian Academy under head coach Brandon Eller and was a co-owner of Applied Velocity, a baseball and softball training facility. Allen replaces former Pangburn head coach Preston Tarkington.

“It means a lot to be here,” Allen said. “I do not have to compete with football. Everyone eats, breathes and sleeps baseball here. I also get to learn something that I am really passionate about – psychology – and train baseball as well. “

Allen graduated from North Pulaski High School in 2013. He signed with and attended Southwest Tennessee Community College for the fall semester, but then moved to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro the following spring. He later switched to Arkansas Baptist College in Little Rock for two years and ended his collegiate career at Central Baptist College in Conway before graduating in 2019.

“I jumped around a lot,” he said. “I had some academic challenges, and I was homesick. I hung out with the wrong kids, and it wasn’t until I attended CBC that I began to build a strong relationship with God. I could have been a better role model, teammate and leader. I had my son when I was 19 years old, and it forced me to grow up. … He was God’s gift to me.

“I knew then and there I was going to train, sort of.”

Allen, who lives in Greenbrier, said the whole family is baseball-oriented. His twin brother, Troy, played baseball at Arkansas Baptist College and at Crowley’s Ridge College in Paragould. Allen’s older brother, AJ, played his entire career at Central Baptist College.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it,” Allen said of his new job. “I’m ready to lead the boys at Pangburn in the right direction.”

Christi Rolland, athletic director of the Pangburn School District, said Allen is “eager and brings a lot of knowledge about the game.”

“He’s ready to go, and I know the boys are ready,” said Rolland. “He has worked with children of all ages and different skill levels.

“We are happy that he will work to help these boys get better at baseball and develop their skills. We are also happy that he is working to help them grow into young men. ”

Rolland said Allen understands the game at this level and knows how to push the players to make them better.

“He’s preparing them for the future,” she said. “We look forward to the baseball season and to seeing how the team develops.”

Jeremy Brown coached Allen in baseball at North Pulaski High School in Jacksonville from 2012-13, and the two have kept in touch ever since and developed a mentor-mentor relationship.

“He is very determined and a person with a high grade,” said Brown, who is now principal and athletic director at Scott Charter School. “Austin will give you his shirt off his back.

“When I trained him, he achieved everything he thought of.”

Brown, who also coached Allen in football, said Allen tore the ACL in his senior year. Brown said he was hesitant to play Allen in baseball and did not want him to risk further injury.

“But then he stole 25 bases and hit 6 or 7 home runs that season,” Brown said. “In order for him to do that, he showed a lot of determination and gravel.

“And that’s something every coach wants.”

Roger Mallison, assistant baseball coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, has known Allen since he was about 15 years old. Mallison’s son played baseball with Allen in Jacksonville, and eventually Allen played for Mallison when he was a coach at Arkansas Baptist College.

“I knew him when he was in high school, and I knew he had the ability, and it did not matter to me that he was wrong. “He still calls me and tells me about future guys who can play for me, otherwise he will ask my opinion on certain things,” said Mallison. “It always makes an old coach feel good.

“I really believe in the Austin world. He has come a long way as a person, from who he was in high school and college to who he is now. I’m very proud of him. ”

Mallison believes Allen will have the opportunity to make a difference right away at Pangburn.

“He was an aggressive player, as far as running the bases, and it can be a good equalizer to put pressure on the other team,” said Mallison. “Since this is his first coaching job, I think he’s going to model his guys according to the way he played.”

Allen met his team recently, and he said he has a very good group of seniors, including two who have already committed to playing college ball.

“I know we’ll make noise this year,”

In Allen. “We have a bit tough competition, because we are pushed up to 3A, and are at the same conference as Harding Academy.

“But I think Pangburn has the best pitching staff in 3A, and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. We have good bodies and speed – I’m very excited. ”

The season is expected to start in March.

“I think he’s going to do a good job; his baseball knowledge is very high, ”Brown said of Allen. “He is very passionate and will bring it to the field every single day.”

Staff author Sam Pierce can be reached at (501) 244-4314 or spierce@arkansasonline.com.

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