Phog Allen
Phog Allen.jpg
Biographical details
Born(1885-11-18)November 18, 1885
Jamesport, Missouri
DiedSeptember 16, 1974(1974-09-16) (aged 88)
Lawrence, Kansas
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1912–1919Warrensburg Teachers
1912–1917Warrensburg Teachers
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1912–1919Warrensburg Teachers
Head coaching record
Overall34–19–3 (football)
746–264 (basketball)
6–17–1 (baseball)
10–3 (NCAA)
Accomplishments and honors
2 Helms Athletic Foundation national (1922, 1923)
NCAA tournament (1952)
2 MIAA (1913, 1914)
24 MVIAA/Big 6/Big 7/Big 8 (1908, 1909, 1922–1927, 1931–1934, 1936–1938, 1940–1943, 1946, 1950, 1952–1954)
4 MIAA (1912–1915)
Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 1959 (profile)
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Forrest Clare "Phog" Allen (November 18, 1885 – September 16, 1974) was an American basketball coach. Known as the "Father of Basketball Coaching,"[1] he served as the head basketball coach at Baker University (1905–1908), the University of Kansas (1907–1909, 1919–1956), Haskell Institute—now Haskell Indian Nations University (1908–1909), and Warrensburg Teachers College—now the University of Central Missouri (1912–1919), compiling a career college basketball record of 746–264. In his 39 seasons at the helm of the Kansas Jayhawks men's basketball program, his teams won 24 conference championships[2] and three national titles.[3]

The Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively recognized Allen's 1921–22 and 1922–23 Kansas teams as national champions. Allen's 1951–52 squad won the 1952 NCAA tournament and his Jayhawks were runners-up in the NCAA Tournament in 1940 and 1953. His 590 wins are the most of any coach in the history of the storied Kansas basketball program.

Allen attended the University of Kansas, having already acquired the nickname "Phog" for the distinctive foghorn voice he had as a baseball umpire.[4]

He lettered in baseball and basketball, the latter under James Naismith, the inventor of the game. Allen served as the head football coach at Warrensburg Teachers College from 1912 to 1917 and at Kansas for one season in 1920, amassing a career college football record of 34–19–3. He also coached baseball at Kansas for two seasons, in 1941 and 1942, tallying a mark of 6–17–1, and was the university's athletic director from 1919 to 1937.

Allen was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the inaugural class of 1959.[3]The home basketball arena at the University of Kansas, Allen Fieldhouse, was named in his honor when it opened in 1955. His final season at Kansas was the first full season the Jayhawks played at Allen Fieldhouse.

In addition to coaching basketball, baseball, and American football, he was a college athletics administrator and osteopathic physician.

Early life

Allen was born in the town of Jamesport, Missouri. His father, William Allen, was among the 30 people who originally incorporated Jameson, Missouri in 1879 and the doctor who delivered Allen lived in James. However, he had strong ties to Jamesport where he was town clerk, collector, and constable. Biographies of Allen usually refer to his birthplace as Jamesport. His family later moved to Independence, Missouri.[5]

Playing and coaching career

Allen coached at William Chrisman High School (then known as Independence High School) in Independence, Missouri, the University of Kansas, Baker University, Haskell Institute, and Warrensburg Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri.

Allen began classes at the University of Kansas in 1904, where he lettered three years in basketball under James Naismith's coaching, and two years in baseball. In 1905 he also played for the Kansas City Athletic Club.[6]

At Kansas he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Allen launched his coaching career at his alma mater in 1907, but took a hiatus after graduating in 1909 to study osteopathic medicine at Central College of Osteopathy in Kansas City, Missouri. Known as “Doc” to his players and students, he was reputed to be a colorful figure on the University of Kansas campus, coaching all sports and becoming known for his osteopathic manipulation techniques for ailing athletes.

Allen was a legend in the field of treatment of athletic injuries and benefited a long list of high-profile performers. He also had a successful private osteopathic practice, and many he treated, the famous and otherwise, contended he had a "magic touch" for such ailments as bad backs, knees and ankles. He said he applied the same treatments to "civilians" as he did to his athletes.

His forceful, yet reasonable, disposition helped him become the driving force behind the acceptance of basketball as an official Olympic sport at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Allen later worked as an assistant coach in the 1952 Summer Olympics,[7] helping to lead the United States to the gold medal in Helsinki, Finland.

He coached college basketball for 50 seasons, and compiled a 746–264 record, retiring with the all-time record for most coaching wins in college basketball history at the time. During his tenure at Kansas, Allen coached Dutch Lonborg, Adolph Rupp, Ralph Miller and Dean Smith, all future Hall of Fame coaches. He also coached John Bunn, who is a member of the Hall of Fame and did go on to coach at Stanford, but he is honored as a contributor to the game of basketball.[citation needed]

Additional former players that make up Allen's coaching tree who coached at the collegiate level but are not enshrined in the Hall of Fame include Frosty Cox, George E. Rody, Andrew McDonald, Charlie T. Black, Howard Engleman and his replacement upon retirement Dick Harp. Among the Hall of Fame players he coached were Paul Endacott, Bill Johnson, and Clyde Lovellette. He also recruited Wilt Chamberlain to Kansas, and even coached former United States Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. Allen Fieldhouse, the basketball arena on the campus of the University of Kansas, is named in his honor. A banner that hangs in the rafters of Allen Fieldhouse reads: "Pay heed all who enter, beware of the Phog." He was enshrined as part of the inaugural class in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959.[citation needed]

Allen also created the National Association of Basketball Coaches, which went on to create the NCAA tournament.[8]

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Baker Wildcats (Independent) (1905–1908)
1905–06 Baker 18–3
1906–07 Baker 14–0
1907–08 Baker 13–6
Baker: 45–9 (.833)
Kansas Jayhawks (Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1907–1909)
1907–08 Kansas 18–6 6–0 1st (North)
1908–09 Kansas 25–3 8–2 1st (North)
Haskell Indians (Independent) (1908–1909)
1908–09 Haskell 27–5
Haskell: 27–5 (.844)
Warrensburg Teachers (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1912–1919)
1912–13 Warrensburg Teachers 11–7 6–0 1st
1913–14 Warrensburg Teachers 15–4 9–1 1st
1914–15 Warrensburg Teachers 13–4
1915–16 Warrensburg Teachers 9–4
1916–17 Warrensburg Teachers 13–2
1917–18 Warrensburg Teachers 9–4
1918–19 Warrensburg Teachers 14–6
Warrensburg Teachers: 84–31 (.730)
Kansas Jayhawks (MVIAA/Big Six/Big Seven/Big Eight Conference) (1919–1956)
1919–20 Kansas 10–7 9–7 3rd
1920–21 Kansas 10–8 10–8 4th
1921–22 Kansas 16–2 15–1 T–1st Helms National Champion
1922–23 Kansas 17–1 16–0 1st Helms National Champion
1923–24 Kansas 16–3 15–1 1st
1924–25 Kansas 17–1 15–1 1st
1925–26 Kansas 16–2 16–2 1st
1926–27 Kansas 15–2 10–2 1st
1927–28 Kansas 9–9 9–9 4th
1928–29 Kansas 3–15 2–8 T–5th
1929–30 Kansas 14–4 7–2 2nd
1930–31 Kansas 15–3 7–3 1st
1931–32 Kansas 13–5 7–3 1st
1932–33 Kansas 13–4 8–2 1st
1933–34 Kansas 16–1 9–1 1st
1934–35 Kansas 15–5 12–4 2nd
1935–36 Kansas 21–2 10–0 1st
1936–37 Kansas 15–4 8–2 T–1st
1937–38 Kansas 18–2 9–1 1st
1938–39 Kansas 13–7 6–4 3rd
1939–40 Kansas 19–6 8–2 T–1st NCAA Runner-up
1940–41 Kansas 12–6 7–3 T–1st
1941–42 Kansas 17–5 8–2 T–1st NCAA Regional Third Place
1942–43 Kansas 22–6 10–0 1st
1943–44 Kansas 17–9 5–5 3rd
1944–45 Kansas 12–5 7–3 2nd
1945–46 Kansas 19–2 10–0 1st
1946–47 Kansas 8–5[n 1] [n 1] [n 1]
1947–48 Kansas 9–15 4–8 T–6th
1948–49 Kansas 12–12 3–9 T–6th
1949–50 Kansas 14–11 8–4 T–1st
1950–51 Kansas 16–8 8–4 T–2nd
1951–52 Kansas 28–3 11–1 1st NCAA Champion
1952–53 Kansas 19–6 10–2 1st NCAA Runner-up
1953–54 Kansas 16–5 10–2 T–1st
1954–55 Kansas 11–10 5–7 5th
1955–56 Kansas 14–9 6–6 5th
Kansas: 590–219 (.729) 334–121 (.734)
Total: 746–264 (.739)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Warrensburg Teachers (Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1912–1917)
1912 Warrensburg Teachers 6–2 1st
1913 Warrensburg Teachers 7–2 1st
1914 Warrensburg Teachers 5–4 1st
1915 Warrensburg Teachers 4–2–2 1st
1916 Warrensburg Teachers 6–3
1917 Warrensburg Teachers 1–4
Warrensburg Teachers: 29–17–2
Kansas Jayhawks (Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association) (1920)
1920 Kansas 5–2–1 3–2 T–3rd
Kansas: 5–2–1 3–2
Total: 34–19–1

See also


  1. ^ a b c Allen was ordered to take a rest due to illness after a game against Missouri on January 7. Howard Engleman assumed the role of interim head coach, guiding Kansas to an 8–6 record over the final 14 games of the season. The Jayhawks finished in third place in the Big Six with a conference record of 5–5.[9]


  1. ^ Basketball Hall of Fame bio Archived August 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Phog Allen Profile".
  3. ^ a b "Phog Allen profile".
  4. ^ "Phog's First Farewell". KU History.
  5. ^ The man behind March Madness - St. Joseph News-Press - March 15, 2009 Archived March 24, 2009, at
  6. ^ The Golden Age of Amateur Basketball: The AAU Tournament - Adolph H. Grundman (Author) - 1921-1968 - Bison Books (October 1, 2004) ISBN 0-8032-7117-4
  7. ^ Games of the XVth Olympiad -- 1952.
  8. ^ Key Dates in NABC History Archived October 26, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "2010-11 Men's Basketball Media Guide" (PDF). CBS Interactive. p. 188. Retrieved March 17, 2011.