Penn to part ways with Jerome Allen

Penn head coach Jerome Allen will step down after coaching the Quakers' season finale against Princeton on Tuesday.

Allen is a former Quakers star who led the team to three consecutive Ivy League titles from 1993 to 1995 -- and was Player of the Year in the league in both 1993 and 1994.

"After considerable soul-searching and reflection, I've decided to resign from my post as the men's head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania,'' Allen said in a statement. "Nothing could be harder for me, because this institution and program have been so dear to my heart. This program gave me my start as a player, and it helped launch my coaching career.

"During the past six years, I have been blessed with a tremendous opportunity to which I gave all of my heart and soul. So I leave the program with head held high, knowing that a foundation has been laid for my successor to take this program and return it to the standard of excellence we all expect.''

Penn athletics director Grace Calhoun is set to make her first major hire and one of the candidates could include former Penn assistant and Cornell and Boston College head coach Steve Donahue.

"Jerome has always been held in the highest regard by his teammates, by his fellow basketball alums, by people in the Penn and the Philadelphia communities, and most of all by the players he has coached these last six years. Coach Allen always put the program first, and I am confident that he will continue to be a strong ambassador for the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn basketball program,'' she said.

The Quakers are 9-18 overall and 4-9 in the Ivy League.

Allen joined the staff as an assistant under former coach Glen Miller in 2009. Miller was fired that season after starting the year with seven consecutive losses. Allen was named the full-time head coach and was 33-28 in his first two seasons, finishing second in the league in 2012.

However, he was just 17-42 in the two seasons leading up to this year -- and the Quakers are 8-18 this season and 3-9 in Ivy play with two games remaining. Penn plays Saturday night against Cornell and Tuesday versus rival Princeton.

Allen was a second-round draft pick in 1995 and played for three teams in the NBA before going overseas for 12 seasons. He was a player-coach for Italy's Snaidero Cucine Udine in 2009.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.