Allen named Calhoun defensive coordinator

Published 4:03 pm Sunday, August 20, 2023

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The Calhoun School football program welcomed a new defensive coordinator in July. Coach Felix Allen, who works with the Tiger defense and teaches history at the school, said he is preparing the team to “bring the pain” on the gridiron this season.

“It’s hunting season, baby,” Allen declared.

Before joining the Calhoun program, Allen coached for the post-graduate Fountain City Prep program in Prattville. Altogether, the defensive coordinator boasts 14 years of coaching experience.

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Lowndes County Public Schools Athletic Director Nickles Rankins said Allen is a positive addition to the Tigers team and was selected for his football background as a coach and a player.

“It really was an easy hire to put him in to be a part of this coaching staff,” Rankins said. “He will bring in even more knowledge of the game.”

The coach is a graduate of Saint Jude Educational Institute in Montgomery, where he played multiple positions with the Pirates, including quarterback, defensive linebacker, and cornerback. After high school, he played one year at Jacksonville State University before transferring to Alabama A&M, where he graduated with a computer science degree.

Allen said his own football coach, Ricky Cotton, inspired his enthusiasm for coaching and helping student athletes.

“Where I come from, there weren’t a lot of people trying to push students to be great,” Allen said. “But he was one of the ones that really stayed on me and gave me the motivation I needed to be great.”

Looking back, Allen said he can see how the coach influenced his life and helped him reach the success he enjoys today.

“I want to do that for kids,” Allen said. “I want to motivate them to be great, to be better than what they expect or think they can be. I want to push them to the point where they say, ‘I didn’t know I could do that.’”

According to Rankins, every head coach needs a solid coaching staff. For many years, the county boasted only a couple skilled coaches, he said, but the program has expanded to include offensive and defensive coordinators, like Allen, to help their teams reach the next level.

“A head coach is only as good as his assistants,” Rankins said. “Now, having coaches to work with defense and offense, that builds the program. So, hopefully we are on a path to something special.”

As defensive coordinator, Allen hopes to bring energy and enthusiasm to the Tigers’ defense.

“I want to give the fans something to appreciate once we step on the field,” Allen said. “Offense gets all the credit, but on defense, I want to score points.”

Fans typically expect a team’s offense to score, Allen explained. But defense can greatly impact a game as well.

“Defense is the heart and soul of the team,” Allen said. “We stop the teams from going for a touchdown. If we can’t stop them then we lose. So, you can’t win a championship without defense even when it’s an offensive game.”

Allen has an 11-year-old daughter, Bayleigh. His love for kids and football motivated him to transition from a part-time coach at Fountain City, to a full-time coach and teacher at Calhoun.

“I would get off work and go coach, but it didn’t get my whole devotion,” Allen said. “So, helping our kids and teaching, that’s what I wanted to do.”

Calhoun will host its first season game against Barbour County High School Sept. 1 at Stanely L. Bruce Stadium in Letohatchee. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 with a $3 parking fee.