Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Greg Allen Assists New Orleans Habitat for Humanity
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 15, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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            Usually, women’s golf coach Greg Allen builds confidence and camaraderie.  Recently, he helped build a house in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans.

            Allen, a member of the National Golf Coaches Association board of directors, helped the group raise $60,000 to build a home for the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.

            The UA head coach, who just completed his sixth season at Arizona, was one of nearly 20 women’s golf coaches from around the country to take part in the project from June 5-10.

            “It was an eye-opening experience to see how devastated this city is and how much still needs to be done to rebuild,” said Allen.  “It was good to be a small part of those rebuilding efforts.”

            When the NGCA volunteers arrived on site at 1805 Alvar, only a foundation was present.  From there, Allen and fellow coaches completed the framework for the home, including the walls and roof.  The crew even managed to install a few windows in the 1,200-square-foot home.

Habitat for Humanity guidelines state that the future homeowner assist with the construction.  So the coaches were able to work with New Orleans resident Bernadette Coleman, who spent much of the week working alongside the coaches.

According to Allen, Coleman’s presence was quite a motivator for the coaches.

“It was neat to have Bernadette on site with us,” Allen said.  “It was such a good motivator for us.  We as coaches are always looking for perfection, and once we got started, we knew that we wanted it to be perfect for her, too.”

The project was the brainchild of Denise St. Pierre, Penn State University head coach and NGCA president, who spearheaded the efforts to raise the necessary funds to assist in the Crescent City.  Allen’s participation was boosted by a $3,000 donation from the ABC Foundation.

Assisting those in need proved to be a beneficial for Allen.  Not only did he help to build a home, but he came away with a bit of great deal of enjoyment and sharpened his skills as a carpenter.

 “We made a lot of progress on the house,” Allen concluded.  “It was a fun time and I didn’t come away with any smashed thumbs.”