Gary Allen is Centurians #5

About how Gary Allen didn’t start at RB at UH, then-UH head coach Dick Tomey said:
“He started out as a wide receiver. He wasn’t even a tailback when he started.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “During a bye-week scrimmage between redshirts and backups in 1978, Tomey and his staff found themselves short at running back. So, they inserted Allen, a freshman recruited as a wide receiver coming out of Baldwin Park (Calif.) High School.”

About how Gary Allen immediately showed his RB skill in that bye-week scrimmage, Tomey said:
“We put him back there, and the first time we gave him the ball, he ran for a touchdown. We said, ‘Let’s do that again’, and he ran for a touchdown (again). And pretty soon we decided, we have to start him at running back.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Allen rushed for 92 yards against Pacific and went on to set what was then a freshman rushing mark of 521 yards in half a season. Running out of the I-formation, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound tailback was a scintillating combination of speed, quickness and agility who teamed with tough fullback David Toloumu to form the most productive and popular backfield duo in program history.”

About Allen’s ability to make people miss, Tomey said:
“He had a unique ability to start and stop and make people miss. He was just magic with the ball.” (HSB)

About Allen’s running ability, Jim Donovan (a junior guard during Allen’s senior year) said:
“He was a very smooth runner, but he also had the strength to go for the first down when he needed to. He was definitely the strongest running back. If I remember correctly, he was bench pressing 350 to 375 pounds.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Allen was small but handled a heavy workload and absorbed punishment from defenses primed to stop him. Tomey and his staff also took advantage of his great hands and open-field elusiveness, throwing to him often and at times deploying him as a punt returner.”

HSB Note: “As a sophomore in 1979, Allen racked up six 100-yard games en route to 1,040, averaging more than 6 per carry. His highlight reel included a six-carry, 112-yard cameo in a blowout of Prairie View, a 202-yard rampage in a win at Texas-El Paso, and a three-touchdown, 141-yard performance in a tough loss to Temple. The Temple game capped a four-game streak during which he rushed for 100-plus yards, but Allen still admits to feeling the sting of that defeat. He understates his heroics to keep the ‘Bows in the game — including scoring runs of 77 and 55 yards and a 32-yard TD reception — and instead takes the blame for the loss.”

Dismissing his 141-yard, 2-TD performance against Temple and taking the blame for the loss, Allen said:
“I was having a good game until the fourth quarter. I fumbled, they recovered and eventually went on to win by three (points).” (HSB)

About how Allen ran for 155 yards against Arizona State in the game after Temple (UH upset Arizona State 29-17 to end their season), Tomey said:
“They could not tackle him. That was an amazing game. (Arizona State was) just loaded with outstanding players, and (Allen) was clearly the best player on the field.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “After toughing it out despite a nagging turf toe injury that bothered him his entire junior year, Allen returned to top form in 1981, rushing for 1,006 yards. The ‘Bows climbed as high as 16th in the UPI national coaches’ poll and finished with a 9-2 record.”

About Allen and his teammates in 1981, Tomey said:
“He was part of a group of guys that was a special, special group of players who gave us a chance to compete at a very high level. That group of guys had great pride, great spirit and outstanding capabilities.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Allen played three seasons in the NFL and three more in Canada. In 1984 with the Dallas Cowboys he ranked fourth in the league in combined kickoff and punt return yards. For Allen, the highlight of his time in Dallas was reuniting with Mark Tuinei, his former UH teammate.”

About his close friendship with Mark Tuinei when they were with the Cowboys, Allen said:
“We were friends in Hawaii, but when I got to Dallas, we became inseparable. (Mark) picked me up when I got to Dallas. The team had him bring me back and forth to practice (and) we stayed in the same apartment complex.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “Playing for Calgary, Allen lead the CFL in rushing in 1986.”

About how he is still the all-time career leader in most significant rushing categories at UH, Allen joked about JJ:
“Thank goodness that June Jones ran his offense. It kept good running backs from coming there.” (HSB)

HSB Note: “After his pro career, Allen returned home to Baldwin Park. He’s worked for the (San Gabriel) Valley County Water District for 20 years. Last fall, Allen returned to his high school alma mater as an assistant, coaching the wide receivers and running backs.”

About how he doesn’t want to be a head coach, Allen said:
“I don’t need that many headaches.” (HSB)

About how his 8-year-old son Jaden is an “awesome football player”, Allen said:
HSB Note: “Allen, 49, has a stepdaughter, Adrian, and son, Jaden, with his wife, Hilda.”
“I could hear the parents talking about my son, saying things like, ‘All we have to do is give the ball to Jaden.’ That was a rush for me. I tell my mom it’s just awesome to sit in the stands and watch my son play, and she says, ‘Well, that’s the same thing we (Allen’s parents) felt.'” (HSB)

HSB Note: “He visited Hawaii in 1998 for his induction into the UH Circle of Honor and the UH-Arizona game, where he reunited with Tomey. In 1999, the circumstances were somber, as he returned for Tuinei’s funeral. Allen hopes to be on hand when the Warriors travel to play UNLV and San Jose State this year. He’s already planning another trip back to Honolulu next fall when Hawaii hosts USC in the 2010 season opener. Oftentimes, he’ll wear his old green-and-white No. 26 Rainbow jersey to the games and occasionally receives compliments from unwitting Warrior fans who think he is just another spectator with a cool throwback jersey. Unless asked, the unassuming Allen won’t come out and tell them he played for UH. He certainly won’t boast that he’s the most prolific rusher in the history of the program.”

About how some UH fans realize who he is when they see him at games, Allen said:
“a few people put two and two together, come up and talk to me and ask for autographs.” (HSB)

http://www.starbulletin.com/specialprojects/09/centurions/20090802_magic_with_the_ball.html

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