South Florida posted an 8-5 record and earned a trip to the Miami Beach Bowl this season. Allen mentored three all-conference selections and the American Athletic Conference’s top scoring defense (19.6 points per game in league play).
”I did not know Tom personally, but was aware of his background and reached out to him when we decided to make a change,” Wilson said. “We made an immediate connection. Tom will bring a ton of energy and strong leadership, and our kids will play hard. This is a positive addition as we continue to take to our program to the next level.”
Brian Knorr will not return for the 2016 season. Knorr led the Hoosiers defense in 2014 and 2015.
“We appreciate the contributions Brian made to IU Football and wish him the best. He is an outstanding coach, a tremendous person, a strong family man and an awesome teammate,” Wilson said. “Looking at where we are at as a program, we determined it is time for new defensive leadership as we move into the 2016 season and continue to build our program.”
Allen is thrilled to return to the Hoosier State, where he served as head coach at Ben Davis High School (2004-06), defensive coordinator at Ben Davis (1998-03) and Marion High School (1997), and earned his master’s degree at IU (2002).
“I am very excited to join Coach Wilson and his staff at Indiana University,” Allen said. “It is rare to have the opportunity to return home to coach and to be close to family. To do that in the Big Ten is even more special. What Coach Wilson is building and the commitment Mr. Glass has made to the program, coaching staff and facilities is impressive. I am very much looking forward to helping this program continue to grow and develop.”
This is Allen’s seventh stop on the collegiate level and his fourth as a defensive coordinator. Over the last 21 years, the teams for which Allen has been a member of the coaching staff have posted a combined record of 216-62 (.777).
In his lone season in Tampa, USF tied for 13th nationally in tackles for loss (7.5 per game), tied for 14th in interceptions (17), tied for 24th in turnovers gained (25), tied for 26th in sacks (2.62), 31st in rushing defense (141.4), 34th in passing efficiency defense (118.76) and 35th in scoring defense (22.9).
Allen spent the 2012-14 campaigns as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator under head coach Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss. He coached All-SEC linebackers Serderius Bryant and Denzel Nkemdiche. The Rebels closed out 2014 with a 9-3 record and ranked No. 9 after they met No. 6 TCU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Ole Miss spent nine weeks in the AP top 10 with a high-water mark of No. 3.
In 2014, the Rebels led the nation in scoring defense (13.8) and allowed a national low 18 touchdowns. They topped the SEC in five categories and ranked in the top 20 nationally in 11, including 10th in red zone defense, 11th in tackles for loss (7.5), 12th in turnovers gained (28), 13th in total defense (321.2) and 13th in defensive touchdowns scored (4).
Allen worked with defensive coordinator Dave Wommack to help guide a huge improvement in the Rebels defense, which ranked last in the SEC in total defense before their arrival in 2011. Under their stewardship Ole Miss consistently ranked among the top teams in the SEC and nationally in tackles for loss and sacks. Nkemdiche earned Freshman All-America honors and second team AP All-SEC after leading the Rebels in tackles (82), TFLs (13.0), forced fumbles (4) and interceptions (3) in 2012.
As assistant head coach at Arkansas State (2011) under Freeze, the Red Wolves led the Sun Belt Conference and ranked in the top 25 nationally in total defense (331.46) and scoring defense (20.77). ASU also finished eighth nationally in tackles for loss (7.62) and 15th in sacks (2.69). Arkansas State went 10-2 overall and 8-0 in the Sun Belt. Allen coached first team all-conference selection Demario Davis and second team pick Nathan Herrold. Davis was selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
Prior to ASU, Allen served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Drake University (2010). The Bulldogs allowed just 330 yards per game while ranking No. 6 nationally in the FCS in rush defense (94.2), No. 8 in sacks (33), No. 17 in tackles for loss (81) and No. 25 in scoring defense (20.4). Allen oversaw seven All-Pioneer Football League (PFL) players, one All-America selection and the PFL Defensive Player of the Year.
At NAIA Lambuth University (2008-09), Allen was the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and he was a part of two Mid-South Conference championships and the school’s first undefeated regular season (11-0) in 2009. That defense ranked No. 4 nationally in scoring defense, No. 7 in pass defense and sacks, No. 9 in total defense and No. 12 in third down conversions. He tutored eight first team all-conference players, one NAIA All-America selection and a Mid-South Conference Freshman of the Year.
Allen’s first collegiate coaching stop was at Wabash College, where as secondary coach and special teams coordinator the team won the NCAC championship and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. Three defensive backs were named to the All-NCAC team.
Prior to Marion H.S., Allen was defensive coordinator at Armwood High School (1995-96) and head coach at Temple Heights High School (1992-94) in Florida.
Allen earned his bachelor’s degree from Maranatha Baptist College (Wisconsin) in 1992. Tom and his wife, Tracy, have three children, Hannah, Thomas and Brittney.