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Report: Penn State to Hire Tom Allen as Defensive Coordinator

Penn State ranking James Franklin Franco Harris
Penn State Athletics

It looks like Penn State has found its next defensive coordinator.

Per report by ESPN’s Pete Thamel, a deal between Penn State and former Indiana head coach Tom Allen is “being finalized and is expected to come together in the upcoming days.”

Jon Sauber of the Centre Daily Times also reported that Allen will be hired.

Penn State fans should be familiar with Allen.

He was a Big Ten head coach for seven seasons, leading Indiana’s program. Allen coached against James 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).

Allen’s a respected defensive mind, having been Indiana’s defensive coordinator the season before being promoted to head coach. Indiana’s defenses were consistently solid throughout Allen’s tenure, despite overall mixed results. Allen is familiar with Franklin and knows the Big Ten, so this move makes sense for a number of reasons.


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