Gene Allen 300th win

Former Atlantic City boys basketball coach Gene Allen celebrates his 300th career win against Egg Harbor Township last year at Atlantic City High School

ABSECON — The Atlantic City High School sports community gathered Thursday for the first time since the Board of Education chose not to reappoint Gene Allen as the Vikings’ boys basketball coach.

“I think it’s absurd they kind of fired him,” said Nah’Sir Morgan, a 2018 Atlantic City graduate and a Vikings football and basketball standout.

The board voted Tuesday not to reappoint Allen after the parent of one of his graduated players criticized him for several actions, but primarily a text message Allen sent to last year’s team, saying the team did not deserve a post-season banquet. The team ended up having the banquet anyway.

The basketball season is already underway. Allen conducted tryouts Monday and Tuesday. The team is scheduled to practice this week. The regular season starts Dec. 14. Atlantic City athletic director Chris Ford said Elijah Langford, who coached the junior varsity squad last season, will run practices starting next week.

Langford, 26, has expressed support for Allen in statements to The Press and on social media.