|High School:||Lincoln High School|
In his 40-year reign as the
Before coming to the
Allen was a national gymnastics all-around finalist from 1962 to 1964, finishing as high as fourth in 1964. He also took first place on the parallel bars at the Big Eight Championships the same year. Upon graduating, Allen immediately began his coaching career, assisting Geier until Geier’s retirement in 1969, at which time Allen took over head coaching duties. Since 1950, Allen and Geier have been the only two head coaches at
Over the course of his career, Allen, who is also the director of
The Huskers began their era of dominance in 1979, winning an unprecedented five straight national titles. An eight-time national coach of the year, Allen led his team to an impressive 17 straight NCAA appearances from 1979 to 1995. To date, the Huskers have competed in 25 of the last 30 NCAA Championships, advancing to the finals on 16 occasions, most recently in 1999.
Individually, Allen’s athletes have earned 172 All-America awards, including a fifth-place finish by former Husker T.J. Schmidt on pommel horse and a sixth-place finish by former NU gymnast Stephen Tetrault on pommel horse.
A total of 41 gymnasts have also earned individual event titles, seven of which came in the all-around from such internationally known competitors as current NU assistant coach Jim Hartung (1980 and 1981); Wes Suter (1985); Tom Schlesinger (1987); Patrick Kirksey (1989); Dennis Harrison (1994); Richard Grace (1995); and Jason Hardabura (1999). Hartung (1982), Suter (1986) and Schlesinger (1987) were also awarded the Nissen-Emery Award, given annually to the nation’s top senior gymnast.
Allen’s triumphs have not been limited to the collegiate scene. Nine of Allen’s former gymnasts have gone on to Olympic competition a total of 11 times. In fact, Allen himself has had the honor of being selected as head coach of the Olympic team not once, but twice, the first of which came in 1980 in
The outstanding amount of talent that has sifted through the
Traditionally, Allen’s athletes parallel success in the gym with academic excellence in the classroom. Allen has coached 11 athletes to 15 CoSIDA Academic All-America awards, nearly three times as many as any other school. Over the past nine years, Allen has coached a total of 11 All-America Scholar-Athletes to 21 individual honors as awarded by the College Gymnastics Association. In 1998-99, the Huskers won the Herman Award, presented to the
Allen, who was born in