Jimmy Allen, who spent the previous six seasons as an assistant on Zach Spiker’s coaching staff, has been named Army’s new head men’s basketball coach. Allen becomes the 31st head coach in the program’s 114-year history.
“As we studied our diverse and talented pool of coaching candidates from across the nation, Jimmy Allen’s name and body of work continued to rise to the top,” Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said. “Jimmy played an integral role in our team’s most recent success, helping lead our program to four straight 15-win seasons for the first time in nearly a century. He is a passionate leader, a dynamic recruiter and a man of great character. We feel Jimmy Allen is the ideal fit to lift our men’s basketball program to even greater heights.”
“We’re excited to have Jimmy at the head of our men’s basketball program,” academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, Jr. said. “As an associate head coach Jimmy played a key role in the team’s recent success. As the son of a graduate who spent a large part of his childhood on West Point, he’s internalized the ideals of duty, honor, country and is committed to our mission of developing leaders of character. We’re confident that, under Jimmy’s leadership, the program will continue to contribute to the development of our Army’s future leaders without missing a beat.”
Allen held the position of associate head coach during the 2015-16 season as Army returned to post-season play for the first time since 1978. In addition to Army’s participation in the 2016 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the Black Knights won 19 games for the first time since 1977-78; the team set a program record with 11 road wins. Spiker spent seven years as Army head coach; he left last week to take over at Drexel.
“This opportunity means the world to me,” Allen said. “I feel like West Point has been part of my DNA since I was born. I lived here a couple different times growing up and with my father being a graduate of the academy this is a very special day for me. This is not just an opportunity to be a head coach. It is an opportunity to be the head coach at Army West Point. To be able to continue to work with the guys who have been part of this program and continue to do the things that have made our program successful is something I am extremely excited about.”
In 2014-15, Allen helped the Black Knights reach 15 victories for the third consecutive year, marking the first time the program recorded three straight 15-win seasons since Bobby Knight’s teams each won at least 15 from 1967-70. Army has won at least 15 games in the past four seasons, which is the best run of 15-win seasons since 1920-24.
Allen joined Spiker’s coaching staff in April 2010 after serving six seasons as the head coach at Averett University in Danville, Va. In his six seasons with the Division III Cougars, Allen posted a 97-70 record, guiding the program to three 20-win seasons, three USA South Athletic Conference titles, three USASAC tournament championships and three NCAA Tournament appearances.
A three-time USA South Coach of the Year (2005, 2007, 2008), Allen inherited a team that was 0-25 the season prior to his arrival and posted a 13-14 overall record in his first year. The next season, the Cougars won 20 games and captured a share of the conference regular-season crown. In 2006-07, Allen’s squad went 20-7, winning both the USASAC regular-season and tournament championships and earning the school’s first NCAA tournament appearance since 1990.
Prior to his arrival at Averett, Allen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach, including eight at the Division I level. Before taking his first head-coaching position, Allen worked for two seasons as the associate head coach at Wofford College.
Allen got his first taste of coaching at a service academy while spending six years as an assistant at Navy under Don DeVoe from 1996-2002. Prior to his stint at Navy, Allen began his coaching career at Emory & Henry, his alma mater, working with the Wasps from 1993-96.