Update: Highland Park’s Randy Allen won this year’s Don Shula Coach of the Year Award.
HIGHLAND PARK (CBS11) – As Highland Park High School’s football team was on the verge of a second state championship in December, Coach Randy Allen remained his calm, collective self, pacing the sidelines almost hidden under the brim of a fedora.
“I am too involved in what is the next play… I can’t let my emotions get to far out ahead of me or show too much to the players,” said Allen.
One look at Coach Allen and any Dallas Cowboys fan knows where he gets his inspiration. The fedora is a constant reminder of a man he respects on and off the field.
“I read a quote by Coach Landry… It said some coaches treat winning and losing like life or death. He said, but I treat it, I’m consistent, I’m trying to be the same guy whether we win or lose.”
But he hasn’t always worn that hat. There was that one game he went back to the baseball cap. Highland Park lost to Lancaster High, a team that hadn’t won in 12 games.
“I came to the booster club meeting. Everyone had a reason we got beat… I let them all say that and then I said, ‘No, the real reason we lost is in this box’ and I had a fedora in the box… I said it’s because I didn’t wear my fedora.”
Allen coached Matthew Stafford and the Scots to their first state championship in 2005. Stafford is now the quarterback for the Detroit Lions. He played against the Cowboys this season, and Coach Allen took a prized picture with Stafford and the 2016 HP quarterback.
“This was neat… The two state championship quarterbacks at Highland Park.”
The younger QB is John Stephen Jones, grandson of Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones.
Coach Allen said he coaches “totally separately” and never stops to think what would Jason or Jerry do now.
Coaching the younger Jones got a lot of publicity, so in this “The Ones To Know” segment, CBS11 wanted to show and tell something about Coach Allen that has not received as much attention.
CBS11 took his favorite musical instrument to the interview. The coach grabbed the guitar, took one look at it, and asked, “Is it tuned?” And then, he started singing and playing one of his favorites, “Johnny B. Goode,” by one of his favorite artists, Chuck Berry.
He didn’t just sing and play, he rocked the locker room!
Allen still occasionally plays in a band. Word has it he actually played and duck-walked across the stage two years ago.
For now, it’s Randy Allen’s fame as a football coach that’s being recognized beyond Highland Park.
The Cowboys nominated him for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award. Each of the 32 teams nominated a coach. Allen has already been named one of two finalists. The winner will be introduced at this weekend’s Pro Bowl Game.
The winner will then be recognized at a press conference on Friday, Feb. 3 during Super Bowl week in Houston.
If Coach Allen’s name is called, perhaps someone will hand him a guitar!
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