Athletic Director Jack Allday Remembered for Many Talents, Generosity and Kindness

July 17, 2023

A Celebration of Life in memory of Jack Allday, the first UNT Dallas athletic director, will be held Monday, July 24, 2023. Allday passed away last weekend, following a short and sudden illness. Below is the message UNT Dallas President Bob Mong sent to the campus community.

"Jack was much beloved in the Dallas community for his many gifts as a parent, a husband, a friend, a musician, a successful businessman and, later in his life, as an athletic director. Given his talents, I never heard Jack boast about a single accomplishment, preferring to praise others.

Jack Allday

Jack served as our inaugural athletic director since early 2015 before announcing his retirement this spring. He was looking forward to helping new AD Kelly Perry smoothly transition into the job.

We owe Jack a lot. Under his leadership, plans for UNT Dallas intercollegiate athletics began to take shape. He identified the first sports we would play, helped shepherd student and legislative support for athletics at UNTD, and eventually hired our three outstanding coaches.

I am particularly grateful for his steady hand and relentless focus on standing up athletics on our campus. It is true that during those planning years before we actually played sports, some of his oldest and best friends poked fun at him for being athletic director without any athletics. Jack took it all in stride.

Jack Allday

For those who knew Jack, you appreciate his many talents as a writer, musician, raconteur and business leader. He was indeed writerly, turning even the most mundane correspondence into cogent and accessible prose. People were drawn to Jack throughout his life by his good nature and big open personality. As his friend and noted author Carlton Stowers said, “Jack never met a stranger.”

He also raised plenty of money for athletics, because, among other reasons, people trusted him. Jack came to athletics administration in a circuitous way. He ran a successful advertising business for many years in Dallas, while at the same time playing drums in a distinctive and highly regarded band called the Nightcaps. He continued to play regularly in Dallas until just a few weeks ago.

The band was so good it was inducted recently into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. Jack accepted the honor as its last surviving member. The band put him through college. ZZ Top recorded one of the Nightcaps classics, “Thunderbird."

Jack Allday watching a Trailblazers basketball game from the sidelines, where he was always a fierce advocate and enthusiastic cheerleader
Jack Allday watching a Trailblazers basketball game from the sidelines, where he was always a fierce advocate and enthusiastic cheerleader

Late in his business career, Jack began teaching at Northwood University where he began to serve as Faculty Athletics Representative. The Northwood president saw something in Jack and eventually asked him to become AD. The rest is history.

He also had the rare fortune to play on a state championship high school football team in 1957. Legend has it that he caught a pass one-handed behind his back in a game. Jack said it never happened that way, just a lucky circus catch during practice, not in a game.

Jack was a proud veteran who always felt close to our campus veterans, often attending their fall galas. You also may know that Jack was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War.

Jack Allday banquet

I know all of you will remember Jack as the stand-up guy that he was: reliable, intuitive, loyal, intelligent, and full of life, humor and anticipation. I will miss him forever."

Allday is survived by his wife, Sharlene, three children, and seven grandchildren. The Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 24, 2023, at the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home, 7405 W. Northwest Hwy. in Dallas.