IU’s Tom Allen wins AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year honor

Indiana’s Tom Allen was named an AFCA coach of the year Tuesday.

Allen won the American Football Coaches Association’s Region 3 honor, which was claimed by Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck last season.

No. 7 IU (6-1) has attained some program-best marks in 2020. The Hoosiers tied the program record for conference wins in a season with six. Allen’s squad also tied the 1945 squad’s record for top-25 wins in a season, defeating then-No. 8 Penn State, then-No. 23 Michigan, and then-No. 18 Wisconsin.

Those are three teams the Hoosiers had never beaten in the same season.

Allen started receiving some national recognition following the PSU win. That week, he was a Bobby Dodd Coach of the Week for his “bold” decision to go for two points in overtime, allowing Michael Penix Jr. to make his memorable reach for the pylon.

IU was then able to handle Rutgers, Michigan, and Michigan State, including a shutout in the latter contest. On the road at Ohio State, the Hoosiers got behind 35-7 but made a furious second-half comeback to fall 42-35. IU last played Dec. 5 at Wisconsin, defeating the Badgers, 14-6, behind backup quarterback Jack Tuttle.

Those performances have put Allen, IU’s fourth-year coach, more readily in the national spotlight, interviewed by a range of personalities on television and radio. One of those was Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who at one point during a radio interview told Allen “I want to damn play for you.”

More honors are still possible for Allen. He was previously added to the Dodd Trophy’s midseason watch list, putting him in the running for another national coach of the year honor. The Hoosiers’ coach is also in the running for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award.

The AFCA’s other winners, by region: Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell (Region 1), Coastal Carolina’s Jamey Chadwell (Region 2),  Marshall’s Doc Holliday (Region 4), and San Jose State’s Brent Brennan (Region 5).


  1. This is a well deserved award and glad to see coach Allen winning it. There should be bigger awards for him coming after this season and its struggles for other teams and how well IU handled it.

    Now on to the bowl game and getting IU’s first bowl win in a number of years.

  2. The other four regional winners are all likely to be coaching at other schools next season. IU needs to make sure TA stays where he’s at, by giving him the budget necessary to continue the momentum he’s built.

  3. PO, I don’t worry too much about coach Allen going anywhere as there are coaches not driven my money or prestige and I think coach Allen is one of those coaches. I could be wrong but I don’t think so since Tom is family driven and sees IU as home. I hope he stays until he retires and we will have to see next year how much the lack of spring and summer work hurt teams while IU was strong enough to maintain focus despite the disruptions. IU is more talented than in the past so I hope they can improve more and do even better next year.

  4. Wasn’t suggesting that TA is at risk of leaving IU any time soon. My comment was about giving him the budget he needs to maintain the trajectory his program has established. Specifically, he needs the coaching compensation budget necessary to hire and/or retain high quality Coordinators and Assistant Coaches, and to support recruiting in expanded regions of the country.

    I read a detailed article about how FSU’s Football program went from winning a National Championship to becoming a dumpster fire within a few short years. According to sources sited in the article, one of the primary reasons Jumbo Fisher left FSU for TX A&M was the lack of compensation budget necessary to keep his Coordinators and top assistant coaches. JF documented to the FSU’s Administrators and Boosters that Coordinators at other top programs were being paid twice what his coordinators were making at FSU, and warned them that if they did not correct the imbalance, FSU FB would begin to decline. They expected JF to continue winning Championships, but they were not willing to give him the budget he felt was necessary to accomplish that goal. Eventually, he got so frustrated, he took the job at TX A&M, where he gets all the budget he needs to compete at the highest level.

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