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Terry Allen is in his ninth season at the helm of the Missouri State program, matching the third-longest coaching tenure in Bears history.
He was named MSU's 19th head football coach on December 20, 2005 and has produced 56 all-conference players and 34 academic all-conference players in his first eight campaigns in Springfield.
Missouri State's sideline boss is coming off a campaign in which the Bears tied for second place in the competitive Missouri Valley Football Conference standings, the program's best league finish since 1996. After a slow start out of the gates, MSU won four of its final five games to finish 5-3 in the league to mark the club's most conference wins since 1990.
MSU knocked off a pair of ranked opponents on the Plaster Field turf in 2013, including a thrilling 35-21 homecoming win over No. 15 South Dakota State. The win over SDSU started a four-game winning streak, the program's longest in more than a decade, including MSU's first win at Southern Illinois in 12 seasons.
Nine Bears were recognized as All-MVFC selections in 2013, including first-team picks Caleb Schaffitzel and Robert Booker. Schaffitzel, a junior safety, rolled up more than 100 tackles for the second year and earned consensus All-America distinction as well as being named as a first-team Academic All-America Team honoree. Booker, a sophomore center, was also named as an All-American with third-team recognition by the AP. MSU also earned a pair of MVFC All-Newcomer and five Academic All-MVFC selections in 2013.
Prior to his arrival in Springfield, Allen's 75-26 record between 1989 and 1996 at Northern Iowa made him the winningest coach in MVFC history at the time (he currently ranks second). His Panther teams won or shared league titles seven straight seasons from 1990-96 and competed in the NCAA playoffs each of his last seven years, including runs to the national semifinals in 1992 and 1996. UNI was also undefeated at home in conference play during his entire tenure in Cedar Falls.
Allen was named MVFC Coach of the Year five times in his last six seasons at UNI and was named Kodak Regional Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1996. Starting in 1992, UNI was nationally ranked for 87 consecutive weeks.
Allen followed more than 20 years at UNI with five seasons as head coach at Kansas (1997-2001) and later four seasons as associate head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Iowa State.
The Jayhawks were 20-33 Allen's five seasons as head coach at Kansas. Included in that tenure were wins over nationally-ranked Colorado and three victories over Missouri. He also guided KU to its 500th all-time win in 1997 and opened his final season with a 24-10 win over Missouri State.
Allen's KU and UNI tenures finished with a collective 95-59 overall record, including a 63-4 record when his teams led at the half. He also tutored nine future NFL players during that stint, including all-pro quarterback Kurt Warner who was the 1999 and 2001 NFL Offensive Player of the Year for the St. Louis Rams. The 1995 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Bills' linebacker Bryce Paup, also played for Allen.
Moving to Iowa State as associate head coach in 2002, Allen renewed a lengthy relationship with Cyclones head coach Dan McCarney who was Allen's prep track coach in Iowa City. In four seasons at Iowa State, the Cyclones went to three bowl games with Allen coaching special teams.
In his inaugural season at Missouri State in 2006, Allen inherited a senior-heavy team that finished 2-9. However, the Bears dropped four games by a touchdown or less and lost another contest by 10 points. The team landed three players on the 2006 all-conference list and set the foundation for the program's future.
Allen then took his charges to an exciting 6-5 campaign in 2007, the biggest improvement for a Missouri State team in 19 years. The Bears were 5-1 at home and knocked off three ranked opponents in year two and produced 36.3 points per game, MSU's best scoring average ever for an 11-game season. MSU also scored 49.5 points a game for the team's six home contests.
MSU landed three on the All-MVFC squad in 2007. Sophomore tight end Clay Harbor and freshman lineman David Arkin joined kicker Nathan Stokes for all-league honors. Harbor was also named to the AP All-America third team squad, while senior TB Gerald Davis set a school record with 19 rushing touchdowns.
In 2008, the Bears continued to make strides under Allen's leadership. Despite a 4-7 overall record, the substance of the team's performance showed a 3-3 road mark, which matched the school's most road victories since 1996. MSU also lost two games by margins of eight points or less along the way.
Even more impressive in 2008 was the effort put forth by the program's inventory of underclassmen. Harbor, a junior, earned All-MVFC first-team honors for the second straight year, while moving up to Second Team on the AP All-America list. Joining Harbor on the all-conference squad were sophomore guard Arkin and second-year quarterback Cody Kirby.
In 2009, the Bears notched their second winning campaign in three years under Allen, once again going 6-5 and 4-4 in the MVFC. MSU was 3-2 on the road, including first-ever wins at Youngstown State and North Dakota State. Eight players were recognized by the MVFC as all-conference performers, including first-teamers Harbor, Arkin and Newcomer of the Year Antoine Wilkinson (LB).
Harbor became Allen's first Missouri State player drafted into the NFL when he was snagged in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 2010 season saw the Bears go undefeated at home, marking the first time since 1992 that an MSU team had gone unbeaten at Plaster. The Bears also knocked off three Top 25 opponents -- No. 20 Youngstown State, No. 18 Western Illinois and No. 17 North Dakota State. MSU also beat two Division I playoff opponents, including eventual national quarterfinalist NDSU, en route to tying for third place in the MVFC standings.
The Bears landed seven players on the 2010 All-MVFC Team, including Arkin and Wilkinson on the first team.
Arkin became the second Bear picked in the NFL Draft in as many years when the Dallas Cowboys picked him up in the 2011 fourth round, capping a consensus All-America season for the standout offensive tackle.
One of the nation's toughest schedules saw the 2011 Bears struggle early before winning their final two road games and spoiling the playoff hopes of a solid Youngstown State team in the season finale. MSU dropped four contests by a touchdown or less in the 2-9 run, including one double overtime decision.
Six MSU players earned all-conference honors -- including Saffold on the first team -- and three made the Valley All-Academic Team.
The 2012 Bears had one of the program's best second-half runs, turning an 0-6 start into a 3-6 ledger with a three-game Valley win streak in late October. The stretch included a road win over No. 11 Illinois State, an FCS national playoff qualifier. The Bears took eventual national champion North Dakota State to the wire in a 21-17 home loss to start November, a game that saw Allen's Bears hold the Bison to just 84 total yards in the second half with the game in the balance.
Sophomore defensive back Caleb Schaffitzel joined junior receiver Dorian Buford on the 2012 All-MVFC first-team with Schaffitzel earning CFPA National Defensive Back of the Year, All-America and Academic All-America distinction.
Offensive lineman Randy Richards also earned AFCA and AP All-America honors in 2012, while Schaffitzel earned AP and Sports Network All-America laurels.
A 1979 physical education graduate of UNI, Allen immediately joined Stan Sheriff's staff after his playing career ended. He took the role of graduate assistant coach in the fall of 1979 and then moved to a full-time position the next year and stayed on the staff when Sheriff handed the reins to Darrell Mudra in 1983.
Allen was a standout prep quarterback at West High School in Iowa City and started three seasons as UNI's top QB.
In his head coaching career, he has mentored 23 AP All-America players and 214 all-conference selections.
Allen's father, Robert, played football and was an NCAA champion swimmer at Iowa. He also served as an assistant football coach and head swim coach for the Hawkeyes for 16 years.
He and his wife, Lynn, have three children; Angie, Chase and Alex.