CARBONDALE — Southern Illinois University announced on Tuesday that it has named former Alabama head coach Ed Allen as its new women's volleyball head coach. Allen will be introduced to the media at a press conference on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the Cook Club.
In 27 seasons as a head coach with stops at Alabama (2011-18), Tulsa (2006-10), Presbyterian (2003-05) and Anderson (1992-2002), Allen has compiled a 646-284 record, guided his team to six NCAA Tournament appearances, won nine conference championships and earned conference coach-of-year honors six times. In the last eight seasons with the Crimson Tide, Allen was 152-101, and the program made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Allen replaces Kari Thompson, whose contract was terminated on Nov. 21 after the Salukis completed a 5-26 season with a 1-17 mark in the Missouri Valley Conference.
"Coach Allen is a tremendous hire for us," said Saluki Director of Athletics Jerry Kill. "His resume speaks for itself. He has a great track record of building a winner at every place he's been, and he's confident he can get our program turned around."
In 2011, Allen took over an Alabama program that had gone seven years without a winning season and quickly built the team into a postseason contender. The squad won 18 matches in 2012, followed by 24 wins in 2013 and a school-record 26 victories in 2014. Of Alabama's five NCAA Tournament appearances in its history, Allen led the Crimson Tide to two of those berths.
Prior to Alabama, Allen coached five seasons at Tulsa, where he was 133-37 and became the fastest Golden Hurricane coach to reach 100 wins in school history. His first squad at Tulsa won the 2006 Conference USA regular-season title, while his second won the 2007 C-USA postseason tournament crown, earning the program's first NCAA tournament berth. He was named the league's Coach of the Year in 2006 and again in 2010, when Allen guided the Golden Hurricane to a school-record 31 wins, including a 20-0 record in Conference USA action.
"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to work with Ed again," said SIU Senior Woman Administrator Liz Jarnigan, who was an associate AD and Allen's sport supervisor at Tulsa. "It's been 10 years since I had the privilege of accompanying him and the Tulsa volleyball team to the NCAA Tournament. His high standards and expectations in the classroom, community and on the court, as well as his work ethic, make him the perfect fit for our volleyball program and athletic department as we grow our championship culture."
Allen has posted 26 winning season in his 27 years as a head coach and began the 2018 season ranked 16th in wins among active Division-I volleyball coaches. His coaching career began at Division III Anderson University (Ind.), where his teams achieved a program-record 11-straight winning seasons, won 17 tournament titles, and posted a 267-128 record. Next, he coached at Division II Presbyterian College (S.C.) and compiled an overall 94-18 record, a 39-3 conference mark, won three South Atlantic Conference Championships, and made three NCAA Tournament appearances.
"I'm excited for the opportunity to be reunited with Liz and to work with Coach Kill, who really sold me with his passion for building successful athletic programs at SIU," Allen said. "The Missouri Valley Conference has great history and an excellent national reputation, and I look forward to building a program that can compete for conference championships."
Allen earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1988 and his master's degree in athletic administration in 1996, both from Ball State University. He is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Allen and his wife Karis have three sons: Drake, Payton and Nolan.