George Allen Washington Redskins & Los Angeles Rams
"The Future is Now"
In 12 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams from 1966 through 1970 and the Washington Redskins from 1971 through 1977, George Allen compiled a 116-47-5 regular season record as a head coach.
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Allen had the reputation of being a coach who could transform perpetual losing teams into winners. The Rams, prior to Allen taking the reins in 1966, had experienced seven straight losing seasons, including a 4-10 record in 1965. In Allen’s first year, the team posted an 8-6 mark, and then won the NFL’s Coastal Division with an excellent 11-1-2 record in 1967. That year, Allen was a virtually-unanimous NFL Coach of the Year choice. Allen moved to the Redskins in 1971 to lead a team that had had only one winning season in 15 years. Adopting the “Future Is Now” theme, he made numerous trades, sacrificing future draft choices for veterans who could help immediately. In his 12 seasons in the NFL, he made 131 trades, 81 of them coming during his Washington tenure.
Allen never had a losing season in seven years with the Redskins. The 1971 team finished second in the NFC’s Eastern Division with a surprising 9-4-1 record. The next year the team marched to an 11-3-0 record, an NFC championship victory over Dallas and a Super Bowl VII appearance against the Miami Dolphins. Three times in the next four years, Washington had 10-4 seasons and wild-card berths in the post-season playoffs.
Allen, who was born April 29, 1918, attended Alma College, Marquette University, and the University of Michigan before starting his coaching career at Morningside College in 1948. He moved to Whittier College in 1951 to begin a six-year tenure. Allen’s first pro coaching experience was as an assistant to Sid Gillman with the Rams in 1957. A year later, he joined the Chicago Bears as a defensive assistant. In a rare move, he was presented a game ball following the 1963 NFL Championship Game in which his defense recorded five defensive turnovers.