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Allen focused on getting Missouri State ready
Coach has support from MSU interim president despite losing record.
Terry Allen is 23-32 over his first five seasons at Missouri State, and is under contract through the 2014 season. Overall, Allen is 118-91 in 18 seasons as head coach.
2011 MSU football schedule
» Sept. 3 –at Arkansas, 6 p.m.
» Sept. 10 –at Eastern Kentucky, 5 p.m.
» Sept. 17 -at Oregon, 2:30 p.m.
» Sept. 24 –at Southern Illinois, 6 p.m.
» Oct. 1 -Northern Iowa, 1 p.m.
» Oct. 8 –Illinois State, 2 p.m.
» Oct. 15 –at North Dakota State, 6 p.m.
» Oct 22 – at Western Illinois, 6 p.m.
» Oct. 29 –South Dakota State, 2 p.m.
» Nov. 12 –Indiana State, 1 p.m.
» Nov. 19 –at Youngstown State, noon
In exchange for accepting a beefed-up football schedule, coach Terry Allen has received a vote of confidence from the university’s top-ranking official.
Interim president Clif Smart said Allen, 23-32 entering his sixth season at MSU, remains the right man for the job.
“I have great confidence in Terry Allen, who is an excellent football coach and of great character,” Smart said.
Gaining traction in the won-loss column is going to be more difficult with road games to open the season, including against NCAA bowl-seeking teams in the Arkansas Razorbacks and national runner-up Oregon Ducks.
The Bears also are scheduled to face two Football Bowl Subdivision teams on the road next year, the Louisville Cardinals and Kansas State Wildcats.
“After we fulfill our contracts this year and next, I told Terry that as long as I had anything to do with it, he would never be expected to play more than one ‘money’ game a year,” Smart said.
“It’s not fair to the kids and his program.”
Allen, 118-91 in 18 seasons as a head coach, has a contract through the 2014 season at $104,499 per year. There is a two-year buyout if he’s fired.
Allen said he’s simply trying to prepare the Bears the best he can, and the players seem genuinely excited about playing major opponents in big stadiums.
“Those games are opportunities to make a national name for your school,” said quarterback Trevor Wooden, who is suspended for the opener at Arkansas. “Who wouldn’t be excited about that?”
If the team emerges from the first few weeks without significant injury, Allen is optimistic about a chance to surprise people in the Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule.
MSU has inched up the league standings in his first five seasons, going from last in 2006 to part of a six-way tie for third last year.
“Our goal is to be better in the league every year and we’re on task to having a shot at doing that,” he said.
But one of Allen’s peers worries that the Bears are biting off too much.
South Dakota State coach John Stiegelmeier said he does not envy Allen’s situation.
“It’s not just about tough games and potential for a loss, it’s always playing on the road. You can get beat up,” Stiegelmeier said.
“When it’s time to make hay in the conference, you may not have the guys left to make hay with.”
By Lyndal Scranton, News-Leader