Bruce Allen (American football)
Bruce Allen is the team president of the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. Previously, Allen served as general manager for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004–2008) and the Washington Redskins (2010-2014). He got his NFL start as a senior executive with the Oakland Raiders (1996–2003).
Allen attended high school at Langley High School in McLean, Virginia and went on to the University of Richmond, where he played football for the Spiders in the 1974-1977 seasons. In his junior season, he ranked 16th nationally and broke the school record for punting, averaging 42.9 yards a kick; those numbers resulted in him being named to that year's All-ECAC and All-South Independent teams. In 1978, he was drafted in the 12th round by the Baltimore Colts. In July 1979, at the age of 22, Allen was hired as the head football coach at Occidental College, a small NCAA Division III school in Los Angeles, California.
In the early 1990s, Allen was a lead agent for Paradise Sports, in Phoenix, Arizona. He represented many professional football players during his tenure there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Following the 2003 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released long-time general manager Rich McKay, whose relationship with Super Bowl XXXVII winning coach Jon Gruden had deteriorated. The Glazer family, which owned and oversaw the Buccaneers, hired Allen to replace McKay, as Allen had previously worked with Gruden in Oakland.
Allen immediately began looking for a more youthful team in Tampa Bay. This included releasing long-time Buccaneer John Lynch and allowing Warren Sapp to leave for free agency, along with drafting Auburn running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams in the 2005 draft.
The Buccaneers performance during Allen's tenure was mixed. His first year there, the team went 5-11. The next year however, they were 11-5 and won the NFC South division in 2005, but went 4-12 in 2006. The team rebounded to a 9-7 record and another NFC South title in 2007, after which Allen (and Gruden) had their contracts extended to 2011. Following a second 9-7 record in 2008 and missing the playoffs after four consecutive losses in December, however, both Allen and Gruden were released.
On December 17, 2009, the Washington Redskins announced that they had hired Allen as their general manager shortly after executive vice president of football operations Vinny Cerrato resigned. Allen's father coached the Redskins to its first Super Bowl appearance in 1972.
Shortly after Allen joined the Redskins, Jim Zorn and his staff were fired, allowing Mike Shanahan to be hired as head coach and executive vice president of football operations. While Shanahan had the final say in football decisions, he and Allen split the duties of general manager, working in an arrangement similar to how Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli operated in New England.
Allen's “I-4 Off Ramp” was a creative method to use up cap space in a time when salary cap spending was a CBA requirement plus make it easy to release or trade a player later in his career. The League had “advised” all franchises to not explicitly use the 2010 uncapped season as a method to create cap room in the future when the salary cap returned. Allen and Shanahan failed to heed the warnings of the league and used the “I-4 off Ramp” on two overpaid players signed by the former regime. As a result, Washington would suffer a $36 million salary cap penalty split between the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
After Shanahan was fired after the disastrous 2013 season, Allen took over his role and assumed final say on the roster and football operations. The search for the next head coach included interviews with Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, and Dallas Cowboys special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, along with planned interviews with various others. On January 9, 2014, Allen's head coaching search ended when Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden was hired as the new head coach of the Washington Redskins, succeeding Mike Shanahan. This move reunites Jay and Bruce, whom Jay had worked under as an offensive assistant for five years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Allen has also attempted to bridge the connection between the modern Redskins and the glory years of past. These include hosting golf tournaments with former players and coaches, to bringing back the gold pants that his father's team had used during the 1970s. On May 26, 2014, Allen was officially given the title of "President" by owner Daniel Snyder. Allen had previously used the title some days before in a letter to US Senator Harry Reid regarding the Redskins name controversy. Allen abdicated his title of general manager after the Redskins hired Scot McCloughan to be their new general manager on January 7, 2015.
- Vinny Cerrato resigns, WTOP-FM, 2009-12-17.
- "Bruce Allen named Occidental coach". St. Petersburg Times. July 11, 1979. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
- Tandler, Rich (January 5, 2014). "Redskins coaching search reset Sunday 01.05.13". CSN Washington. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
- Boyer, Zac (January 9, 2014). "Jay Gruden hired as Redskins coach". WashingtonTimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
- John Keim (January 9, 2014). "Jay Gruden to coach Redskins". www.sports.espn.go.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Steinberg, Dan (September 12, 2010). "Redskins wearing gold pants". Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-01-16.
- Florio, Mike. "Redskins name Bruce Allen president and G.M.". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Florio, Mike. "Bruce Allen responds to the Senate". Pro Football Talk. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Orr, Conor. "Washington Redskins make Scot McCloughan GM". NFL.com. Retrieved 7 January 2015.