Gary Allen (gridiron football)

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Gary Allen
Date of birth (1960-04-23) April 23, 1960 (age 57)
Place of birth Baldwin Park, California
Career information
Status Retired
CFL status International
Position(s) RB
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg)
College University of Hawaii
High school Baldwin Park (CA)
NFL draft 1982 / Round: 6 / Pick: 148
Drafted by Houston Oilers
Career history
As player
1982–83 Houston Oilers
1983–84 Dallas Cowboys
1986–88 Calgary Stampeders
1988 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
  • 4× Honorable-mention All-American (1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
  • All-WAC (1979, 1980, 1981)
  • 3× Honorable-mention All-Coast (1979, 1980, 1981)
CFL All-Star 1986
CFL West All-Star 1986, 1987
Awards 1986, 1987 - Eddie James Memorial Trophy
Career stats

Gary Allen is a former gridiron football running back who played for the Houston Oilers and Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. In later years, Allen also played for the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He played college football at the University of Hawaii.

Early years[edit]

Allen attended Baldwin Park High School, before moving on to the University of Hawaii, where he was initially recruited to play wide receiver.

During a bye-week scrimmage between backups and redshirts in his freshman season, the team was short at running back and he was temporarily used at the position for depth purposes. After showing his running skills and dominating the practice, he was permanently switched and was named the starter against the University of the Pacific, where he ran for 92 yards. He finished his freshman year with a school record 521 rushing yards in half a season.

Though there were concerns about his size, his open-field elusiveness and strength made him one of the top players in the Western Athletic Conference. He ran from the I formation and was teamed with fullback David Toloumu. He also was a teammate of Mark Tuinei and Jesse Sapolu.

As a sophomore, he posted 1,040 rushing yards, six over 100-yard games and averaged more than 6 yards per carry. His accomplishments included a four-game 100-plus yards rushing streak, a six-carry 112-yard cameo against Prairie View A&M University, a 202-yard game against the University of Texas at El Paso, a 141-yard, three-touchdown performance against Temple University and a 155-yard game in an upset win against Arizona State University. He was invited to play in the Hula Bowl as a wide receiver.

Because of the field conditions at Aloha Stadium, he suffered from turf toe injuries in his last two years. As a junior, he had a down season with 884 rushing yards. As a senior, he recorded 1,006 rushing yards, helping the team accomplish a 9-2 record and their first in season top-20 Associated Press ranking.

He finished his college career as the school's all-time rushing leader (3,451 yards) and is considered to be one of its greatest football players.[1] At the time he also set school records with 4,558 career all-purpose yards, career rushing attempts (647), career 100-yard games (15), 1,000-yard rushing seasons (2), career receiving yards for a running back (895 yards), career receptions for a running back (73), career touchdowns (19) and single-game rushing yards (247). In 1988, he was inducted into the University of Hawaii ring of honor.[2][3]

Professional career[edit]

Houston Oilers[edit]

Allen was selected by the Houston Oilers in the sixth round (148th overall) of the 1982 NFL Draft, after dropping due to concerns about his short stature. He played in 8 games returning punts and kickoffs. On September 8, 1983, he was waived to make room for running back Vagas Ferguson.[4]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

On September 29, 1983, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys to replace an injured Chuck McSwain.[5] He played only on special teams and fumbled a punt that was the turning point in the wild card playoff loss against the Los Angeles Rams.[6]

The next year, he ranked fifth in the NFL in punt return yards (446 yards) and tenth in kickoff return yards (666 yards). In 1985, the team tried unsuccessfully to convert him into a wide receiver and was released on August 16.

Calgary Stampeders[edit]

In 1986, he signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League and was named the starter at running back, after being originally listed fifth on the depth chart. He was benched in three games for being late to practices and missing team meetings. He still finished as the league's rushing leader (1,153 yards) and punt returner (768 yards), becoming the first player to be selected to the All-star team in two positions in a single season.[7] He also set franchise records with 768 punt return yards in a season and 155 punt return yards in a game (September 14).[8]

The next year, he led the West Division in rushing yards (857) and again received All-star recognition. His performance fell off in 1988, before being cut after three games with only 100 rushing yards (5.0 yard avg.).

Winnipeg Blue Bombers[edit]

On August 22, 1988, he was signed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.[9] He was released on September 8, after playing in three games and registering 53 rushing yards (5.6 yard avg.).[10]

Personal life[edit]

Allen currently coaches freshman football at his former Alma Mater Baldwin Park High School. He now watches his son play sports at Bishop Amat Memorial High School. Allen works as an inspector for the San Gabriel Valley County Water District.


External links[edit]