This archived article was written by: Dyana Thurgood
The College of Eastern Utah has had a high local student enrollment, since its opening in 1937. Many families have had several generations go through the traditions of CEU, allowing for a deep root in its community. However, for this particular family, it’s a twist from the traditional story.
Alyssa Johnson, a freshman this year at CEU, traveled from Rocklin, Calif., to experience college life in Price. Although the college has many academic and extra-curricular activities to offer, her decision to come was more than 15 years in the making.
Johnson’s aunt, Lindsey Allen, attended CEU in 1994-1996, to play for the women’s basketball program. She was coached by the present day coach, Dave Paur, who helped her carry out her academic and athletic goals. For two years, Allen was a well-known name, but her departure wasn’t the last of them.
In addition to the legacy of Coach Paur, his assistant Dan Allen has made a mark as well. For over 10 years he has been assistant-coaching the women’s basketball program, the exact same one his daughter Lindsey played for only a few years previous. He is currently still known as “coach” to the girls, but for Johnson, “grandpa” seems like a more suitable name.
Here in the 2009-2010 season of CEU basketball, grandpa and his grand-daughter have been making their way through the year together. Johnson has visited campus in previous years, to spend time with Coach Allen as well as get to know the women’s basketball players. Johnson’s commitment to attend this year was based on athletic opportunity, as well as family ties. CEU has become home to her family for three generations, thus far. When asked what she thought of having a grandpa for a coach, she said, “On the court, it doesn’t really feel like he is my grandpa … but off the court it’s nice to have family here.”
Being the current athlete of the family, she has been a major asset to the women’s program. Day in and day out, Johnson is a hard worker in practice and games. She is well known for her bubbly-personality, as well as her knock out perimeter shooting. Having been exposed to the collegiate level in sports, she is also immersed into the cosmetology program at CEU. Her hopes are to graduate with her cosmetology license, as well as making friends in basketball along the way.
The local roots at CEU have been intertwined with the fates of the Allen/Johnson families. For over a decade, the women’s basketball team has been able to contribute from their hard work and dedication. Perhaps, in future years, more generations will be calling Price, Utah, home away from home.