Coach Allen Dews retired at the end of last school year after 14 years in Taylor, 32 years total. During his career he coached football and track, served as defensive coordinator, head coach, athletic director and was the athletic coordinator at Taylor Middle School. His students have won numerous medals and trophies and there have been state championships. But for Dews, the most memorable moments often came during an afternoon practice when a student made an outstanding play for the first time.
“I really believe that if you go into this business for the right reason, and the right reason is to develop young men and young women, that every day is a success story,” Dews said. “I celebrated a whole lot with kids that ran faster than everyone else, that played harder or won a ball game. But it’s more fun to watch those little victories and it’s a daily thing from practice to the game. That kid may go off to become a doctor or a lawyer or the president of the United States, but he’ll never forget that moment. To me, that’s the most exciting and it happens every day.”
After graduating from high school, Dews went to West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M. Two of his high school coaches had tried to convince the young athlete to go into coaching, but he was determined to pursue a career as a computer analyst while playing football in college. By the end of that freshman year, he was heading back to his old high school for another visit with those mentor coaches.
“It didn’t take long to decide that I didn’t want to be in a cubicle, I didn’t want to be staring at a screen all day,” Dews said. “My coaches always told me, ‘You’re a leader. You’re that guy’. I ran from it for a while, but every time I went to talk to Coach Sewell he’d say, ‘When are you going to stop messing around and become a coach? You’re built for it’.”
Dews finished college in 1987 and started his career in Hart, Texas, a 1A school where he coached everything and became the defensive coordinator in the third game. From there he went to Kenedy where he served as the defensive coordinator and eventually athletic director. His next stop was Kermit, then Gregory-Portland and finally Taylor with a few years spent in Granger.
A top career highlight for the retiring coach has been the students he has taught and the many friendships he has developed.
“I’ve been very blessed to have worked with some great kids throughout my whole career, and have built so many friendships,” Dews said. “You can talk about wins and losses and all that, but I look at it differently. So many of the kids that I coached have come back and are very successful young men and young women. I have worked with some tremendous people.”
Another career highlight has been the lifelong friendships he has developed with his colleagues.
“The coaches that I have worked for and worked with are great men that taught me a lot,” Dews said. “Here in Taylor, the group that I run with are Mike Tennill, Danny Potts, Larry Safarik, Kenny Cmerek, George Matthys, David Rucker, Doug Ruthven and Doug Kuhl. Those guys are the crew and we have so much fun together.”
Thirty-two years after setting out to become a computer analyst, Dews is happy he listened to his high school coaches and became a coach himself.
“The first time you step into that classroom, or you step onto that grass, you know you made the right decision,” Dews said. “I mean, what a life. I got to be a kid and play a game my whole life. I might be the leader of those kids, but I got to be a kid my whole career.”
Now in retirement, Dews still shows up at an occasional practice or game and continues to work with the track team as needed. He has also found extra work with an area cabinet maker as well as consulting for a track and field supplier and a serving as referee for various events.
“I’ve also been a track and field official for 32 years now and I’ll probably end up working about 18 meets this year in different roles,” Dews said. ‘I took over what Eddy Lankford was doing at the University of Texas with the pole vault when he got out of it years ago. Now I serve the UIL as one of the referees for the outdoor track and field and the cross country. About every weekend you’ll find me somewhere on a track doing pole vault or refereeing or whatever they need me to do.”
Dews also plans to spend more time with his family. His wife, Cindy, is a pre-k teacher at T. H. Johnson Elementary, and he has two sons in San Antonio. He also plans to stay right here in Taylor.
“I’m just so thankful to the community of Taylor,” Dews said. “This is the longest that I have ever lived anywhere in my career. Taylor is special, the community has accepted us, and this is a good time to tell them, thank you. The people of Taylor ISD over the years have influenced me and we have become friends. It’s all been special.”