MISSOULA, Mont. — Pokey Allen, the exuberant coach who rebuilt the Boise State University football program and resigned this month as cancer overtook him, died Monday at 53.
Allen died at 4:30 a.m. in a Missoula hospital, 24 hours after he went into a coma. A funeral will take place Wednesday in Missoula.
Allen had returned to Missoula to spend the holidays with his mother, sister and daughter when he collapsed the day after Christmas. The tumor in his chest had grown quickly and involved more than 90% of his lungs, said Carolyn Collins, his oncologist in Boise, Idaho.
Allen was diagnosed with the rare and aggressive form of muscle cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma in 1994, only two days after leading the Broncos to the NCAA Division I-AA championship game.