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History 101 - ALLEN, GEORGE H. [1918-1990]


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http://www.nnp.org/nni/Publications/Dutch-American/georgeallen.html

George Allen was one of the more successful professional football coaches, in terms of number of wins, in the history of American football, and especially in the National Football League [NFL]. During his tenure, as a head football coach in the NFL, he made winners out of two losing teams he coached. When he took over the head coaching position for the Los Angeles Rams in 1966, the team had had seven losing seasons. Allen transformed the Rams into a winner in the first year he coached, and then followed it up with four more winning seasons. Apparently his performance was not quite as good as expected by the management of the team, and he was fired by the Rams owner, Dan Reaves. During his tenure at the Rams, he was voted coach of the year in 1967.

In 1971, Allen became the head football coach for the Washington Redskins. Prior to that year, the Redskins had had only one winning season in 15 years. The first year Allen coached the Redskins, the team finished with nine wins, four losses and one tie. In the following year, the Redskins made it to the Super Bowl. He continued to coach the Redskins for seven years until 1977.

To sum it all up, during the 12 years Allen served as a head football coach in the NFL, his teams never had a losing season. Allen also had the third best winning percentage [.681] in the entire history of the NFL. It was only surpassed by Vince Lombardi, with a .736, and by John Madden, with a .731 winning percentage.

Allen was a defensive innovator, and was known for his strategy of using experienced players, instead of building younger talent. When he took over coaching duties for the Los Angeles Rams, and for the Washington Redskins, Allen engaged in extensive trading to build up each team with experienced players. One measure of his trading frequency is the number of trades he made during the 12 seasons he served as a NFL football coach. The number of trades amounted to 131, with 81 trades during his Washington Redskins head coaching tenure.

Allen began his coaching career by coaching college football teams following the completion of his college studies. He attended Alma College, Marquette University and the University of Michigan, from where he earned his M.S. degree in Physical Education in 1947. In 1948, he became the head football coach at Morningside College in Iowa. During the three years at Morningside College, he achieved a record of 15 wins, 2 losses and 2 ties. From 1951 to 1956, he coached at Whittier College in California, where he enabled the team to win 32 games, lose only 22 games, and tie 5 games, again a winning record.

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If you can find it, I'd recommend "The Future Is Now: George Allen, Pro Football's Most Controversial Coach" by William Gildea and Kenneth Turan. It was first published in 1972 and chronicles George Allen's life and career. I still have my copy, complete with dust cover' :D

I'd also recommend "Over the Hill To The Super Bowl" by Brig Owens with Chuch Cascio and "I'll Always Get Up" by Larry Brown with William Gildea, both from 1973. Both are great reads and give you a taste of old school football and up up close view of the legendary 1972 season.

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It's unfortunate that Coach Allen didn't get his championship. His conservatism was his greatest strength and weakness. He brought respectability back to the Redskins, though; and for that, he deserves a place among the greatest in team history.

Kinda nice to see a reminder now n than that Joe Gibbs was not the first great coach we ever had.........

Actually, this guy was probably the first great coach we ever had.

Flaherty.jpg

I believe he even has a higher winning percentage than Joe Gibbs.

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I believe he even has a higher winning percentage than Joe Gibbs.

Unlike historians in Baseball...Football fans/followers/historians for whatever reason don't seem to respect the history of the game prior to the merger of the leagues.

If football were baseball, Sammy Baugh would be iconic more than just to Redskins fans.

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Unlike historians in Baseball...Football fans/followers/historians for whatever reason don't seem to respect the history of the game prior to the merger of the leagues.

If football were baseball, Sammy Baugh would be iconic more than just to Redskins fans.

It's like, for a lot of folks, the league didn't exist before 1958.

There was a lot of great football players and coaches in the first 40 years of the league's existance. Ray Flaherty was among them.

But, this thread is about Coach Allen and he was one of the great ones, too. He truly was a leader of men and he knew how to inspire people. Also, no one can deny he LOVED football.

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Actually, this guy was probably the first great coach we ever had.

Flaherty.jpg

I believe he even has a higher winning percentage than Joe Gibbs.

Yeah, Flaherty brought home the first couple championships but while I am an old fart I'm not THAT old a fart! starac.gif

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It's unfortunate that Coach Allen didn't get his championship. His conservatism was his greatest strength and weakness. He brought respectability back to the Redskins, though; and for that, he deserves a place among the greatest in team history.

Actually, this guy was probably the first great coach we ever had.

Flaherty.jpg

I believe he even has a higher winning percentage than Joe Gibbs.

He was before my time :ols: but here is what wikapedia has about him:

Raymond Paul Flaherty (September 1, 1903 - July 19, 1994) was a professional football player in the National Football League from 1926-1935. He was the head coach of the Boston/Washington Redskins from 1936–1942, where he won four division titles (1936, 1937, 1940, 1942) and two NFL Championships (1937, 1942). Flaherty served in the United States Navy until 1945. Upon his return, he accepted the head coaching position with the All-America Football Conference's New York Yankees, winning division titles in each of his two full seasons at the helm. He left the Yankees midway through the 1948 season and spent 1949 as coach of the AAFC Chicago Hornets.

Among his innovations, Flaherty is credited with inventing the screen pass in 1937.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 for his contributions as a coach.

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Just as an aside, how many other team boards do you think are supporting any conversation on past coaches from the 70's, much less the 30's.

God I love this team, and I mean the entire far-flung B&G family of players, fans, everyone.

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Just as an aside, how many other team boards do you think are supporting any conversation on past coaches from the 70's, much less the 30's.

God I love this team, and I mean the entire far-flung B&G family of players, fans, everyone.

I can think of 3 teams that could go back as far as us with their history that was successful. Green Bay, Chicago and the Giants. Each of them won titles prior to 1940. The Steelers, Eagles and Lions have been around a long time, but none of them won anything before 1948. The Lions won most of theirs in the 50s, the Eagles in the late 40s and 60s and the Steelers in the 70's and above. Also, maybe the Browns, but again, most of their winning was in the late 40s/50s. The Cardinals haven't done squat in their history except one title.

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I can think of 3 teams that could go back as far as us with their history that was successful. Green Bay, Chicago and the Giants. Each of them won titles prior to 1940. The Steelers, Eagles and Lions have been around a long time, but none of them won anything before 1948. The Lions won most of theirs in the 50s, the Eagles in the late 40s and 60s and the Steelers in the 70's and above. Also, maybe the Browns, but again, most of their winning was in the late 40s/50s. The Cardinals haven't done squat in their history except one title.

Yes, you're right, but do you think you could Google up the main message board for the Packers or Bears and find current threads on their coaches from decades ago? I would doubt it.

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My Dad taught me to appreciate a lot of the old school players because he actually saw them play. Being a fan of a certain team wasn't as far reaching back then as it is now. Before TV, you had to depend on newspaper accounts and newsreels unless you lived in or near a NFL city. He grew up in North Carolina and loved watching Sammy Baugh on the newsreels but it wasn't until after he returned from serving in the Army during WWII, and moved to Alexandria, that he actually got to see Sammy play in person at Griffith Stadium.

He knew who all the players were from the late 40's and throughout the 50's and 60's. While I never got to see any of those great players of old until 1967, I knew their names and which positions they played. Some of my Dad's favorite games during the late 60's and throughout the 70's were the ones when the Redskins Alumni would be introduced before the game or at halftime. Seeing those old players brought back great memories for him, just like seeing players from the 70's and 80's and early 90's bring back great memories for many of us.

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Just as an aside, how many other team boards do you think are supporting any conversation on past coaches from the 70's, much less the 30's.

God I love this team, and I mean the entire far-flung B&G family of players, fans, everyone.

Have a lot of fondness for coach Allen, as the beginning of my fandom coincides with his tenure here, but a big reason he is being discussed happens to do with his son being our new GM.

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Interesting tidbits from Wikapedia:

Of the 26 Redskins coaches, seven have been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Ray Flaherty, Turk Edwards, Curly Lambeau, Otto Graham, Vince Lombardi, George Allen and Joe Gibbs.[8] Several former players have been head coach for the Redskins, including Turk Edwards, Dick Todd and Jack Pardee. In addition, former players have become assistant coaches, such as Earnest Byner, Russ Grimm, and Keenan McCardell.

Washington's worse coach

Mike Nixon

Kuharich's five-year tenure in Washington was only slightly better than his Cardinals stint, with the mentor leaving for the head coaching position at the University of Notre Dame following the conclusion of the 1958 NFL season. On December 22 of that year, Nixon earned his first head coaching position when he was promoted by Redskins' owner George Preston Marshall.

The next two years would be miserable for Nixon, who watched his team compile a record of 4-18-2, predictably resulting in his dismissal after the 1960 NFL season had ended. After seeking another head coaching job, Nixon settled for an assistant's role on February 11, 1961 back with the Steelers under Buddy Parker. After a 6-8 campaign in his first year, the team improved to a 9-5 record the following year, and was one game away from winning the Eastern Conference title in 1963. However, by the time the next season started, age and injuries had caught up with the Steelers. Two weeks before the start of the 1965 NFL season, Parker abruptly quit. Nixon was promoted to head coach the next day, but endured (up to that time) the franchise's worst season with a 2-12 mark.

OTTO GRAHAM

Between 1966 and 1968, Graham coached the Washington Redskins, but whatever magic he had as an NFL player disappeared on the sidelines as the team recorded a mark of 17-22-3 during that time period.

After resigning the Redskins' post in favor of the legendary Vince Lombardi, Graham returned as athletic director of the Coast Guard Academy before retiring at the end of 1984.

Graham and Lombardi would be linked again when Graham underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1977, the disease that claimed Lombardi's life seven years earlier. Graham subsequently became a vocal supporter of early detection of the disease

(Kuharich, Nixon,and Graham, these are the guys that led up to the hiring of Vince Lombardi, and then George Allen.)

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