Olympian Devon Allen loses father before qualifying for world championships in 110 hurdles

·2 min read

Louis Allen Jr., the father of former Phoenix Brophy Prep and Olympian Devon Allen, died during the weekend, before his son qualified for the world championships in the 110-meter hurdles.

He was 63.

Bernadette Allen, Louis' wife, confirmed her husband's death in a direct message on social media on Saturday night but asked to wait until after the weekend to release the news.

"I am at a loss for words at this time," she said.

She said that Louis was not feeling well the last few weeks, but kept it from his son to not distract him while he was getting ready to qualify for the world championships this past weekend at the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene.

Allen qualified by finishing third at 13.09 seconds.

"He was not that ill so this happening was a shock to all of us," Bernadette said about losing her husband. "I do not know exactly what happened until an autopsy is done."

The Republic has reached out to Devon Allen, who has not returned a message.

Louis Allen, who went to Ohio State, was equally proud of his twins, Devon and Carissa, as they grew up in sports. Carissa played volleyball at Phoenix Central High School, while Devon played football and ran track across the canal off Central Avenue at Brophy.

He watched his son compete in two Olympics and was set to watch his son play in the NFL after the former Oregon wide receiver signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.

"The first, and possibly the most important thing would be for people to know how much his kids meant to him," said Tim O'Neil, who got Allen started in the hurdles as his coach at Brophy Prep, where Allen set the state record

On June 12, Devon Allen, 27, ran the third-fastest 110 hurdles time ever in the world at 12.84 seconds. Bernadette posted video of Devon's remarkable run on Facebook and wrote, "Poppa Louis Allen Jr in the background with the smash clap. We went crazy after that. LOL"

Allen will be competing in the world championships on July 15-24 in Eugene, Oregon.

"What a friend he was to many," Bernadette said. "He was a very loving husband to me and I have a huge void in my life without Louis. He was everything to me."

A memorial service will be held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85012 on July 20 at 10 a.m. Mortuary services are being provided by Universal South Mountain Mortuary.

To suggest human-interest story ideas and other news, reach Obert at richard.obert@arizonarepublic.com or 602-316-8827. Follow him on Twitter @azc_obert.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Olympian Devon Allen loses father before qualifying for worlds