BLOOMINGTON – IU fired its football coach on Sunday Tom Allenafter seven seasons at the helm in Bloomington, a source confirmed to IndyStar.
Allen finishes his Indiana tenure 33-49 and 18-43 in Big Ten play.
After notable highs in 2019 and 2020, Allen finished his last three seasons 9-27, 3-23 in the Big Ten, with no Power Five non-conference wins between them.
Ultimately, despite the termination of the contract exceeding $20 million owed over the next four years, it was negotiated down to two payments of $7.75 million to be paid through donor funds from the department of athletics, current athletic director Scott Dolson determined that a change in direction was necessary. . Dolson’s search for a new football coach (Indiana’s third in the last 13 years) will begin immediately.
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Allen’s tenure began under tense and unusual circumstances, with Allen being hired full-time from his defensive coordinator position on the same day the Hoosiers parted ways with former coach Kevin Wilson. Allen had been a central figure in the second of Wilson’s two bowl campaigns, reviving a struggling defense to help the Hoosiers reach 6-6 and a berth in the Foster Farms Bowl.
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For that job, then-AD Fred Glass decided to promote Allen without a coaching search, announcing his decision at an afternoon news conference on December 1, 2016.
“He’s a leader of men,” Glass said that night, “which I think will transcend beyond defense on this entire team, and he may be the missing link, he may be the secret sauce to keep us from getting close and maybe get over it.” he humps her a little more often.”
Glass’s words initially proved prophetic. After coaching the Hoosiers through that initial bowl game and a 5-7 season the following fall, Allen delivered a rebuilt roster from 2018-20 largely thanks to his recruiting and development efforts. Whether recruiting players from in-state or from southern talent spots like Memphis and Tampa, areas where Allen’s history as a coach gave him deep recruiting roots, Allen built a team that finished 19-14 in those three seasons.
That stretch included berths in the Gator and Outback bowls, marking Indiana’s first two appearances in January bowl games played in Florida. The losses in both games did not appear to slow the momentum of consecutive winning seasons not only on the field but also in the conference, and were engendered by an acceptance of Allen’s “love each other” mantra that gave the program’s agency Allen beyond simple victories and losses. .
However, that didn’t hurt.
There was a four-game winning streak in October and early November 2019 that included road wins at Nebraska and Maryland, and secured IU’s first winning season in 12 years.
Allen’s masterpiece would come a year later when, during the COVID-affected 2020 season, his team opened with a dramatic overtime victory against top-10 Penn State, before riding that momentum to a 6-1 record and wins over Michigan, Michigan State. and Wisconsin.
Expectations for the following year were exceptionally high by historical standards, and the Hoosiers’ dramatic slide began the decline that ultimately cost Allen his job. Indiana finished 2-10, winless in the Big Ten, in that 2021 season that began with a national ranking, before managing just two and three conference wins over the next two seasons.
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on X at @ZachOsterman.