After guiding one of the top scoring defense in the AAC, Tom Allen will be charged with turning around a Big Ten unit that desperately needs it.
In a press release, USF announced that Allen had “notified [head coach Willie] Taggart of his intention to accept a similar role at another institution” after one season with the Bulls. Roughly three hours later, Indiana announced in its own release that Kevin Wilson has swiped Allen to be his defensive coordinator.
Allen, an Indiana native, will replace Brian Knorr, who the school announced in the same release would not be returning for the 2016 season after spending the past two years as coordinator. Last season, the Hoosiers were 116th in the nation (out of 127 teams) and last in the Big Ten in giving up 37.6 points per game; under Allen last year, the Bulls’ defense was 35th in the country and fourth in the AAC in giving up 22.9 points per game.
Prior to his one-year stint at South Florida, Allen spent three years as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Ole Miss. He was the defensive coordinator at Arkansas State under Hugh Freeze immediately before that.
“I did not know Tom personally, but was aware of his background and reached out to him when we decided to make a change,” Wilson said. “We made an immediate connection. Tom will bring a ton of energy and strong leadership, and our kids will play hard. This is a positive addition as we continue to take to our program to the next level.”
With Allen gone, Taggart looked to his own staff to fill the void, promoting Raymond Woodie to coordinator. The past three seasons at USF, Woodie has held the title of assistant head coach/linebackers/special teams coach.
Woodie has been a part of Taggart-led staffs the past six seasons, first at Western Kentucky and then at USF.
“It didn’t take long to identify Coach Woodie as the right person to lead our defense,” Taggart said. “He has done a great job developing a strong linebacker unit over the past three years and his positive impact on our special teams was very evident last year. Woodie has tremendously strong relationships with our players, great knowledge of our system and is well prepared to lead our defense.”
Woodie is USF’s fifth coordinator on that side of the ball in six years.