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Pokey Allen Sport(s) Football Current position Title Head Coach Team Portland State Boise State Biographical details Born January 23, 1943(1943-01-23) Place of birth Superior, Montana, United States Died December 30, 1996(1996-12-30) (aged 53) Place of death Missoula, Montana Playing career 1961-64 1965-67 1967 Utah - NCAA BC Lions - CFL Edmonton - CFL Position(s) QB/CB Coaching career (HC unless noted) 1968-72 1973-76 1977-82 1983-84 1985 1986-92 1993-96 Simon Fraser (ass't) Simon Fraser - (co-coach) Montana - (ass't) E. Washington - (ass't) California - (ass't) L.A. Express (USFL) (ass't) Portland (USFL) - DC Portland State Boise State Head coaching record Overall 87-41-2 (.677) Statistics College Football Data Warehouse Accomplishments and honors Championships WFC- 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992 Big Sky - 1994 Ernest Duncan "Pokey" Allen, Jr. (January 23, 1943 – December 30, 1996) was a college football head coach at Portland State and Boise State. Contents 1 Playing career 2 Early coaching career 3 Portland State 4 Boise State 5 Cancer and legacy 6 Head coaching record 7 References 8 External links // Playing career Allen played college football as a quarterback and cornerback at Utah, where he led the Utes to a 32-6 victory over West Virginia in the 1964 Liberty Bowl and was named the game's most valuable player.[1][2] Professionally, Allen played three seasons with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.[3] Early coaching career Following his CFL playing career, Pokey Allen became an assistant coach in 1968 at Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C., Canada.[4] Five years later, he was named co-coach of the team. After nine years at Simon Fraser, Allen returned to the U.S. and became an assistant coach at Montana in 1977, followed by other assistant coaching positions with Eastern Washington and California.[4] In 1983, Allen signed on as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL, the new professional league which played its games in the spring. Two years later, he moved to Portland, Oregon, as defensive coordinator for the Portland Breakers.[4] Portland State Following the folding of the USFL, Allen became the head coach at Portland State in 1986. Allen coached the Vikings to its first football playoffs, including back-to-back appearances in the Division II finals in 1987 and 1988, though the team lost both games. He was named coach of the year in the Western Football Conference five times.[5] Allen was as much noted for his personality as his coaching. He took part in a humorous series of television commercials to sell tickets for Portland State games, with stunts such as dancing the Hokey Pokey, betting a month's salary on attendance at the game, allowing fans to vote on whether to pick heads or tails at the coin toss, and most famously, a series of commercials in which Allen promised to have a meteor, an elephant, or himself (shot out of a cannon) land in the backyard of anyone not buying Portland State season tickets.[6][7] Boise State In 1992, Allen's Division II Vikings visited Bronco Stadium in Boise in late October and soundly defeated the I-AA Boise State Broncos 52-26. After Boise State lost their next three games to close out the season, head coach Skip Hall promptly resigned[8] and Allen and his entire coaching staff were hired away from Portland State.[9] In his second year at Boise State in 1994, he led the Broncos to a 10-1 regular season and a Big Sky championship, the first since 1980. The Broncos were invited to the 16-team Division I-AA playoffs and advanced to the national finals, but lost 24-14 to Jim Tressel's Youngstown State Penguins at Huntington, West Virginia, and finished the season at 13-2. Allen kept his reputation for publicity stunts: during the run to the 1994 national championship game, Allen challenged local supporters, promising to ride a horse in downtown Boise if Bronco Stadium was sold out for their annual rivalry game versus Idaho, who had won twelve straight over the Broncos. The stadium was sold out, BSU won the game 27-24, and Allen kept his promise.[10] It was Allen's only victory against the Vandals while at BSU. Cancer and legacy Shortly after the 1994 championship game, Allen was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer. He returned to coach the Broncos in 1995, but after a recurrence of cancer in December, took a leave of absence and assistant Tom Mason filled in as interim head coach. As the Broncos stumbled to just one win in their first ten games, Allen returned for the final two games of the 1996 season, against New Mexico State and Idaho. His win against NMSU was his first and only Division I-A win. He resigned in December, following a 64-19 loss to Idaho in November, and died three weeks later at the age of 53.[1] Boise State's come-from-behind, trick play-laden victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which brought even more national attention to the program that Allen helped build, came 10 years to the day after Allen's burial.[10] Allen was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.[5] Head coaching record Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/Playoffs Coaches# AP° Portland State Vikings (Western Football Conference) (1986–92) 1986 Portland State 6-5-0 1987 Portland State 11-2-1 1st 2-1 Div. II finals 2nd 1988 Portland State 11-3-1 1st 3-1 Div. II finals 2nd 1989 Portland State 9-4-0 1st 1-1 Div. II quarterfinals 1990 Portland State 6-5-0 1991 Portland State 11-3-0 1st 2-1 Div. II semifinals T-3rd 1992 Portland State 9-4-0 1st 2-1 Div. II semifinals T-3rd Portland State: 63-26-2 Boise State Broncos (Big Sky Conference) (1992–95) 1993 Boise State 3-8-0 1-6 1994 Boise State 13-2-0 6-1 1st 3-1 Div. I-AA finals 2nd 1995 Boise State 7-4-0 4-3 Boise State Broncos (Big West Conference) (1996–present) 1996 Boise State 1-1 1-1 Boise State: 24-15 Total: 87-41-2       National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title †Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll. References ^ a b "Pokey Allen, 53, Football Coach". New York Times. December 31, 1996 (subscription required). Retrieved 2008-04-10.  ^ Sorenson, Mike (December 20, 2006). "Atlantic City contest quietly became historically significant". Deseret Morning News.,1249,650216411,00.html. Retrieved 2007-05-15.  ^ "BC Lions All-Time Roster". BC Lions. Retrieved 2007-05-15.  ^ a b c Wheeler, Ken (December 30, 1996). "Pokey Allen 1943-1996: A short life lived to its fullest". The Oregonian.  ^ a b "Pokey Allen: Coaching". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved February 23, 2010. [dead link] ^ Goe, Ken (December 6, 1991). "The same old Pokey". The Oregonian.  ^ Frei, Terry (August 25, 1990). "It's just about kickoff time for PSU stunts". The Oregonian.  ^ Seattle - "Hall Quits as Boise State Coach," - AP - 1992-11-22 - accessed 2010-04-26 ^ "A Brief Look: Portland State Rivalry". October 3, 2005. Retrieved 2007-05-15.  ^ a b Anderson, John Gottberg (May 6, 2007). "Oh Boise!". The Bend Bulletin. Retrieved 2007-05-15.  External links Pokey Allen at the College Football Data Warehouse Boise State Library - digital archives - photos of Pokey Allen as BSU head coach v • d • e Boise State Broncos head football coaches Dusty Kline (1933) • Max Eiden (1934–1939) • Harry Jacoby (1940–1946) • Lyle Smith (1947–1949) • George Blankley (1950–1951) • Lyle Smith (1952–1967) • Tony Knap (1968–1975) • Jim Criner (1976–1982) • Lyle Setencich (1983–1986) • Skip Hall (1987–1992) • Pokey Allen (1993–1996) • Tom Mason # (1996) • Houston Nutt (1997) • Dirk Koetter (1998–2000) • Dan Hawkins (2001–2005) • Chris Petersen (2006– ) Pound sign (#) denotes interim head coach. v • d • e Portland State Vikings head football coaches Holland • Davis • Leggatt • Smithwick • DeSylvia • Lyons • Read • Stratten • Davis • Allen • Walsh • Glanville • Burton Persondata Name Allen, Pokey Alternative names Short description Date of birth January 23, 1943 Place of birth Superior, Montana, United States Date of death December 30, 1996 Place of death Missoula, Montana