Dan Allen (American football)

Daniel L. Allen (December 7, 1955 – May 16, 2004) was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Boston University from 1990 to 1995 and at the College of the Holy Cross from 1996 to 2003. Allen began his coaching career at the University of Dayton as a graduate assistant, where he earned a master's degree in 1979. He then served as an assistant coach at Holy Cross from 1982 to 1989 before moving on to his first head coaching job at Boston University. After a six-year stint for the Terriers, Allen finished his coaching career back at Holy Cross, where he led the Crusaders for eight seasons before being fired following a 1–11 campaign.

Dan Allen
Dan Allen.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1955-12-07)December 7, 1955
Cincinnati, Ohio
DiedMay 16, 2004(2004-05-16) (aged 48)
Westboro, Massachusetts
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1978Dayton (assistant)
1982–1989Holy Cross (assistant)
1990–1995Boston University
1996–2003Holy Cross
Head coaching record
Tournaments1–2 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)
Accomplishments and honors
1 Yankee Conference (1993)
1 Lambert Cup (1993)
AFCA Coach of the Year (1993)
Eddie Robinson Award (1993 )
Yankee Conference Coach of the Year (1993)
Greater Boston Coach of the Year (1993)
2× New England Coach of the Year (1993, 2000)

Boston University's 1993 Cinderella seasonEdit

Allen's most successful season as a coach came in 1993 with Boston University. Between 1990 and 1992, the Terriers football team had combined to win 12 total games against 21 losses. Heading into the 1993 season they had been picked to finish near the bottom of the Yankee Conference standings. What happened instead turned out to be one of the single biggest turnarounds in NCAA Division I-AA football history.

The Terriers began their season with a 45–0 win over Maine; this sparked the momentum that would carry through the rest of the regular season as Boston finished with an unblemished 11–0 record (8–0 Yankee). It is the school's only undefeated season and it had set a new high mark for wins as well. The Terriers earned their first Division I-AA playoffs berth in many years. In the first-round game, the Terriers defeated the Kurt Warner-led Northern Iowa Panthers, 27–21, in double overtime. The season would end one week later in the quarterfinals against Idaho when they lost 21–14. Both the 1993 Boston team and Allen himself garnered national recognition, awards and accolades for their Cinderella season.

In 1994, the Terriers once again performed well and finished with a 9–3 record, making the 1993 and 1994 seasons' combined overall record 21–4, which is the best two-year span in Boston University history.

Family and deathEdit

Allen was married to his wife, Laura, and the couple had three children together: Mark, Taylor and Danielle. He died on May 16, 2004 at his home in Westboro, Massachusetts after succumbing to complications of ALS.[1][2]

The poignant story surrounding the legal battle pertaining to Coach Allen's untimely death from ALS, the early onset of which was attributed by a panel of experts in occupational medicine and neurotoxicology to his exposure to neurotoxicants used in the process of refinishing a gym floor at Holy Cross, is discussed in detail in chapter 15 of the book "Poisoned: How a Crime-Busting Prosecutor Turned His Medical Mystery into a Crusade for Environmental Victims".

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs TSN#
Boston University Terriers (Yankee Conference) (1990–1995)
1990 Boston University 5–6 4–4 6th
1991 Boston University 4–7 3–5 T–4th
1992 Boston University 3–8 2–6 8th
1993 Boston University 12–1 8–0 1st (New England) L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal 6
1994 Boston University 9–3 6–2 2nd (New England) L NCAA Division I-AA First Round 9
1995 Boston University 3–8 1–7 T–5th (New England)
Holy Cross Crusaders (Patriot League) (1996–2003)
1996 Holy Cross 2–9 1–4 6th
1997 Holy Cross 4–7 2–4 4th
1998 Holy Cross 2–9 1–5 7th
1999 Holy Cross 3–8 2–4 5th
2000 Holy Cross 7–4 4–2 2nd
2001 Holy Cross 4–6 3–4 5th
2002 Holy Cross 4–8 2–5 7th
2003 Holy Cross 1–11 1–6 8th
Holy Cross: 27–40 9–15
Total: 63–95
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth
  • #Rankings from final The Sports Network poll.


  1. ^ "In Memoriam; Daniel L. Allen". Holy Cross Magazine. Worcester, MA: College of the Holy Cross. May 16, 2004. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  2. ^ Croteau, Scott J. (9 September 2009). "Football coach's estate settling ALS suit". telegram.com. Worcester, MA: Gatehouse Media. Retrieved 30 December 2015.

External linksEdit