FRAN DUNPHY is knocking on the door of 500 wins. He couldn't have gotten here, he said, without the guy who coached his final game at Penn last night.
"I'm not so sure that there is anybody in my college coaching career that has been more influential than Jerome Allen," said Dunphy. "I'm not sure I would have lasted this long without him.
Dunphy was at Penn and a very mediocre 21-31 in his first two seasons as a head coach. Then, Allen joined his program in 1991-92. A year later, Matt Maloney arrived via transfer from Vanderbilt. The winning, with Barry Pierce working inside, quickly followed. The Quakers did not lose an Ivy League game with Allen and Maloney and ignited a run in which Dunphy won 10 league titles in 14 years.
Dunphy has 499 wins and is now at Temple. Seeing his friend being dismissed as Penn's coach isn't easy.
"He set the tone for me as a college basketball coach," Dunphy said glumly. "He made us win. He's a tremendous guy and I'm sorry to see this happen."
Life has kind of beaten up Ron Turcotte since he had the three greatest rides in horse racing history.
Turcotte, 73, was hospitalized yesterday following an automobile accident near his home in New Brunswick, Canada.
Turcotte was riding in a van that hit a snowbank and flipped. He and another man were hospitalized, though their conditions were unknown. The Associated Press received an email from Leonard Lusky, who runs the website Secretariat.com, who said he had spoken to Turcotte and his wife, Gaetane.
Turcotte was the rider when Secretariat won the 1973 Triple Crown with three historic rides. He was paralyzed from the waist down 5 years later when he fell during a race at Belmont Park, site of Secretariat's most breathtaking win.