Special by: Carlton Stowers
He loved jazz and wife Sharlene, family and friends, watching the Texas Rangers, his hometown Atlanta, Tx., and cheering for his UNT-Dallas Trailblazers. He enjoyed cooking, admired a well-turned phrase, a nicely-executed double play, and British TV mysteries.
And he was one of those rare individuals who could see sunshine on the gloomiest days. It was his special gift.
First UNT Dallas Athletic Director
Jack Allday was the first Athletic Director in the University of North Texas-Dallas’ history. And he was the last surviving member of the Nightcaps, the iconic Dallas rock-and-roll band of the ’60s.
In between, he lived a busy and remarkable life.
On Sunday, July 16, just weeks after announcing his retirement from UNTD, Allday passed away following a brief illness. He was 82.
A native of Atlanta, TX, he moved to Dallas as a grade- schooler. He graduated from Highland Park High School where he was a member of the Scots’ 19657 state football champion and catcher and captain of the baseball team. And he and friends formed the legendary Nightcaps, which gained fame throughout the Southwest. With Allday on drums, the group collectively wrote and performed such popular numbers as “Wine, Wine, Wine” and “Thunderbird,” the latter later recorded by legendary rock group, ZZ Top.
Allday Attended SMU
Allday’s earnings as a member of the band paid his way through Southern Methodist University. He was on hand recently when the Nightcaps were inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame.
He received a Bronze Star during service in Vietnam and was honorably discharged in 1969.
Soon thereafter he established Allday & Associates, a successful advertising and consulting agency which, for over three decades, represented an all-star list of clients and earned numerous awards.
No friend of idleness, he accepted a teaching position at Cedar Hill-based Northwood University after leaving the ad business. There, he ultimately rose to the position of Athletic Director. When Northwood closed, he was approached by UNT-Dallas, which was hoping to launch an athletic program.
Assuming the position in 2015, he laid the groundwork that would result in the university being accepted into the Sooner Athletic Conference, playing men’s and women’s basketball and fielding track and cross-country teams. At the time of Allday’s retirement, plans were underway for soccer teams.
UNT Dallas Athletic Program
Annually, his program received the coveted Champions of Character award given by the NAIA.
People were drawn to Jack by his good nature and big, open personality,” says UNT-Dallas president Bob Mong. “He was reliable, intuitive, intelligent, and so full of life, humor, and anticipation.”
The university’s Athletic Advisory Committee chairman Derrick Moergans says, “Jack was an incredible human being who loved helping young people. There was nobody else like him.” And, adds faculty member Robert Harris, “In addition to all of his other great talents, he made the best chili I’ve ever tasted.”
Even as he tended myriad job responsibilities, Allday managed time to play regularly with a Dallas jazz band. Earlier, while earning his Master’s at SMU, he authored WARRIOR GENERAL, a biography of his uncle, Lt. General Archie Old, Jr.
He never stopped learning,” says longtime friend and retired journalism professor David McHam.
Allday Service July 24
Never one to leave things undone, Allday long ago planned his own funeral and wrote his obituary.
He is survived by wife Sharlene, who he met and married while in college, three children — Robert, Taylor, and Meredith — and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held Monday, July 24, at 2 p.m. at the Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. A burial service is scheduled the following day at 1 p.m. in Atlanta’s Pine Crest Cemetery.
— Carlton Stowers