JONESBORO (1/3/11) – Arkansas State head football coach Hugh Freeze has announced that Tom Allen, a 19-year coaching veteran at both the collegiate and high school levels, has been named a defensive assistant coach for the Red Wolves.
Over the last 17 years of his coaching career, the teams Allen coached on posted a combined 174-41 record for an .809 winning percentage. That record covers stops at six different schools in Florida, Tennessee, Indiana and Iowa, and four of those schools had a losing record the season prior to Allen's arrival.
"We are extremely excited Tom is joining our program here at Arkansas State," said Freeze. "He is a tremendous man of character and integrity. He loves his players, has a passion for this game and will bring an extremely high energy level to our program."
"I am very excited for the opportunity to join the Arkansas State program under Coach Freeze's leadership," said Allen. "We've worked together before and I have a lot of respect for him. I believe he will do an awesome job at Arkansas State and I'm excited to be a part of it.
Allen comes to Arkansas State after spending last season as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Drake, where he led the Bulldogs to an NCAA FCS No. 36 national ranking in total defense. Under his direction, Drake allowed just 330 yards per game while also ranking No. 6 nationally in rush defense (94.2 ypg), No. 8 in sacks (33), No. 17 in tackles for loss (81), No. 25 in scoring defense (20.4 ppg) and No. 28 in red zone defense. While at Drake, Allen mentored seven All-Pioneer Football League players, one All-America selection and the PFL Defensive Player of the Year.
The New Castle, Ind. native had equally impressive results as Lambuth's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebacker coach in 2008 and 2009 while the program was under the leadership of Freeze. He was part of two Mid-South Conference championships and Lambuth's 2009 squad produced the school's first undefeated regular season (11-0). Nationally, his 2009 defense ranked No. 4 in scoring defense, No. 7 in pass defense and sacks, No. 9 in total defense and No. 12 in third down conversions.
While at Lambuth, Allen mentored eight first team all-conference players, one NAIA All-America selection and a Mid-South Conference Freshman of the Year.
Allen made a stop at Wabash (Ind.) College as its secondary coach and special teams coordinator in 2007, helping the team win the NCAC championship and advance to the quarter finals of the NCAA Division III playoffs. He coached three defensive backs that were named to the All-NCAC Team and tutored Wabash's First Team All-NCAC punter.
Prior to joining the college coaching ranks, Allen served as the head football coach at Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Ind.) High School from 2004-06 and was also the head coach at Temple Heights (Tampa, Fla.) High School from 1992-94. In between his time at Temple Heights and his elevation to head coach at Ben Davis, Allen was defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Armwood (Sefner, Fla.) High School from 1995-96 and held the same positions at Marion (Ind.) High School in 1997 and at Ben Davis from 1998-2003.
While head coach at Ben Davis, he was twice selected as an Indianapolis Colts "Coach of the Week" for excellence on the field and in the community. He led the Giants to the 2004 and 2006 IHSAA Sectional 6 championship as head coach and was part of three state championships as the school's defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.
Allen's only year at Marion saw his defense rank No. 1 in the conference in scoring and run defense, helping the team post an undefeated season and a final ranking of No. 7 in the Indiana state poll.
The Armwood defense allowed just 7.3 points per game during Allen's final year at the school, which qualified for the state playoffs for the first time in school history in 1996 and posted an 8-2 record in 1995.
Allen began his coaching career at Temple Heights, where as head coach he led it to the state playoffs for the first time in 18 years in 1994. He was named a 1994 "Coach of the Year" finalist in Hillsborough County, which was home to 22 high schools.
Additionally, Allen has been very active in summer camps during his coaching career. He has served as a camp instructor at Ball State (2007-present), the FCA Football Camp in Black Mountain, NC (2007-present) and Michigan (2007).
A 1988 graduate of New Castle High School, Allen earned his bachelor's degree from Maranatha Baptist College in 1992 before going on to earn his masters degree from Indiana University.
Coach Allen and his wife, Tracy, have three children, Hannah (13), Thomas (12), and Brittney (10).