Allen on Deboer Hiring: 'I Wanted to Find Myself on Offense'

Tom Allen wanted to find a mirror image of himself on offense.  Image: Sammy Jacobs Hoosier Huddle

Tom Allen wanted to find a mirror image of himself on offense. Image: Sammy Jacobs Hoosier Huddle

Written by: TJ Inman (@TJHoosierHuddle)

Mike DeBord, Indiana’s former offensive coordinator, notified Tom Allen that he would be stepping away from the Indiana University coaching staff. After a couple seasons of floundering offensive football and back-to-back missed bowl games, Allen was faced with the most important hire of his tenure.

“I wanted to go through and not necessarily in personality, but I wanted to be able to find myself on offense is what I was looking for,” Allen told the media on Friday in Bloomington. “My big objective was, I was trying to find a guy that I could really label as the head coach of the offense. As I talked with coaches and did the process of finding the guy, I would go through and kind of start by saying that and say that’s what we’re looking for. Because as a defensive head coach that’s been involved defensively as a defensive coordinator and now with more of an overall role but still going to be heavily involved with the defense and special teams, I wanted to be able to hire someone that I totally trusted to be able to be the head coach of that side and to be able to run those meetings and capture those players and capture those coaches and truly do a great job of leading our offense.”

Tom Allen identified Kalen DeBoer as a man he was interested in working with early on in the process. DeBoer was the head coach at Sioux Falls while Allen was on the staff at Lambuth College. The schools were in the same division at the NAIA level and DeBoer’s Sioux Falls was winning “all the championships”. Allen told the media that he stayed in touch with DeBoer, and with those who worked with him, throughout the years and was impressed with him as a man and as a coach.

“We wanted to be able to be more explosive on offense, and it’s about scoring points, and he’s done an impressive job most recently at Fresno State. We wanted to find a special guy to come in here and help us, be able to take us where we are and take us to another level offensively. That’s the challenge that he’s been given, and just really, really thrilled to be able to introduce Kalen today officially as our offensive coordinator to you guys.”

Tom Allen is clearly aware of the importance of getting the offensive side of the ball fixed. He has put the hire of DeBoer squarely on his shoulders and the outcome of the hire is going to go a very long way towards determining whether or not Tom Allen ultimately succeeds at Indiana or becomes the next in a long line of coaches that came up short of making the Hoosiers consistent winners.