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Penn State Officially Hires Tom Allen as DC

Penn State has officially hired Tom Allen to be its next defensive coordinator.

The Board of Trustees approved Allen’s contract at a subcommittee on compensation meeting early Tuesday afternoon.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported Sunday that Penn State was closing in on hiring Allen.

”I have always had a ton of respect for Tom Allen, and we are excited to welcome him to our staff,” Penn State head coach James Franklin said via press release. “I’ve enjoyed following his coaching career and his experience as a head coach and defensive play caller will bring tremendous value to our program. Coach Allen has led aggressive and attacking style defenses that will complement what we have already established. We are looking forward to welcoming Tom, his wife Tracy, son Thomas, and daughters Hannah and Brittney to Happy Valley.”

Allen said he’s “thrilled for this opportunity.”

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach Franklin and having been across the sidelines from him, I’ve seen what he is building here. To be trusted to join this storied program has me fired up, and I can’t wait to get to work alongside this coaching staff, these student-athletes and to immerse myself in the Happy Valley community.”

Allen’s coming to Penn State after seven seasons as the head coach at Indiana.

In that time, IU’s overall results were mixed. But the team consistently put together solid defenses, and Allen played a big part in that.

Before becoming Indiana’s head coach, he was the defensive coordinator there for the 2016 season.

The year before that, he was the defensive coordinator at South Florida, and under Allen’s watch, USF improved from the No. 71 total defense in the country to No. 52.

Allen coached against Franklin and Penn State for all seven of those seasons, the most memorable game being IU’s  overtime win in 2020’s season opener. That was the only time Allen beat Penn State, although the team came close this past October. IU came into Happy Valley as a four-touchdown underdog, but ended up being tied with the favorites with less than two minutes left before PSU finally but the Hoosiers away with a late touchdown pass. That game was a moral victory for Indiana but there weren’t many official victories in 2023.

IU finished 3-9 overall and 1-8 in the Big Ten, which led to Allen’s dismissal.

Although Allen finished with a less-than-stellar 33-49 record, there were some highlights.

Most notably, the team went 6-2 in that 2020 season and finished in the top 15, which, for Indiana football, is about as frequent as Charles Barkley shooting under par. Allen was awarded both within the Big Ten (conference Coach of the Year) and nationally (AFCA Coach of the Year).

Tom Allen will be succeeding Manny Diaz, who left earlier this month to become Duke’s head coach.

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