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Report: Penn State Football Targeting Tom Allen As Next Defensive Coordinator

Penn State football is targeting former Indiana head coach Tom Allen to be its next defensive coordinator, per Pete Thamel of ESPN. The deal is reportedly being finalized and the program should be set to announce Allen as Manny Diaz’s successor in the coming days.

Allen’s name has been attached to Penn State’s defensive coordinator job for some time. He was fired from his position at the helm of Indiana in late November and was on a list of potential candidates by many outlets.

Allen led the Hoosiers for seven years after spending one year as the team’s defensive coordinator. After taking over one of the worst defensive groups in the nation, Allen turned Indiana around. The group that gave up 37.6 points per game in 2016 gave up 27.2 points per game the next year. The Hoosiers also improved in total defense, giving up around 380 yards per game in 2016 after allowing more than 500 yards per game the season before.

After Allen took over the head coaching job before the 2017 season, Indiana’s defenses have been solid outside of a rough season in 2022. As the head coach of Indiana, Allen’s teams went 33-49 with losses in all three of the program’s bowl appearances. Allen’s Hoosiers defeated Penn State in 2020 as then-Indiana quarterback Michael Penix Jr. won the game on a controversial two-point conversion.

Allen’s hiring would be James Franklin’s second coordinator hiring after the regular season after Franklin replaced the fired offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich with Andy Kotelnicki.

Should Allen get the nod from Penn State, he likely won’t coach in the Nittany Lions’ Peach Bowl bout with Ole Miss on December 30. Penn State’s defense is being led on an interim basis by safeties coach Anthony Poindexter, who said Friday that he was interested in the full-time defensive coordinator role, as well as analyst Robb Smith.

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a junior journalism major at Penn State and an associate editor at Onward State. He covers Penn State football and enjoys yelling on Twitter about Philadelphia/Penn State sports. He also listens to Mac Miller more than you. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. Please send all positive affirmations and/or hate mail toward him on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email ([email protected]).

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