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Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Jack Allday

Faculty & Staff Spotlight: Jack Allday

If you don't know Jack, well, you're missing out on a multifaceted and charismatic colleague whose legacy at UNT Dallas will forever be as the man who delivered collegiate athletics to southern Dallas. Hired more than five years ago to start intercollegiate athletics, it took two school presidents, more than a few starts and stops, and immeasurable patients before the dream became a reality with the UNT Dallas Trailblazers competing in men's and women's basketball, cross country and track and field during this school year. "My friends called my Sisyphus, as it seemed I was pushing a rock uphill," Jack says. "But, we finally got it done and are now up and running."

 

Jack recently turned 80 and has the life stories to prove it. One of those stories was recently published as a first-person account in the Dallas Morning News: "I celebrated the most meaningful Christmas of my life as a soldier in Vietnam." But, one look at Jack's photo above, and it's clear he has lighter side, too. He started playing the drums at age 15, formed a band -- the Nightcaps -- at 18, a band that recently was voted into the Dallas Songwriters Association Hall of Fame. "Five of us started the band in 1959 and had a good run until the Vietnam War intruded in the mid-1960s. Get to know Jack.

Q&A

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
I love just about everything about my job, but especially the student-athletes, coaches and competition. Athletics is one of the more challenging jobs on any campus because it has so many moving parts. But, it can also be one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do.

What is your proudest work moment? 
My proudest moment as Director of Athletics was when we were accepted for membership into the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) in April of last year. It meant we had officially arrived.

What is your proudest non-work moment?
My proudest non-work moment, or experience, is just all the friends I have made here. Of course, we all have colleagues. But, when a colleague becomes a friend as well, that’s special, and rewarding.

What fact about you might surprise your colleagues?
I bake a pretty darn good bread, from scratch, no machine. Takes about six hours, so it’s hard to find time to do it. I give most of it away.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE...

Book?: “All the King’s Men,” by Robert Penn Warren. It is the perfect novel, plus it is historic. It is based on Huey Long, who was governor of Louisiana and a fascinating individual.
Inspirational hero?: Louis Armstrong, who was always called either Satchmo or Pops. Born and raised in New Orleans, he had mastered the trumpet at an early age and was one of the pioneers of jazz, which is the only art form invented in America.  
Hobby?: Music – jazz and blues. I started playing the drums at 15 and still play today – or was until COVID came along. Music is a tough way to make a living, but a wonderful avocation.