If you were given the choice of one word to define Tom Allen, “passionate” would probably be that word. The Indiana head coach is full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm on the field and in the media room.
Saturday afternoon was no different. Following a thrilling 44-41 double-overtime win over Purdue at Ross-Ade Stadium, Allen was elated to be bringing the Old Oaken Bucket back to Bloomington. And in the postgame press conference, Allen was overcome with emotion.
“I just want to thank those that put me here. I want to thank [Indiana University] President [Michael] McRobbie and [athletic director] Fred Glass or believing in me a couple years ago and taking a chance on this small-town kid from this great state of Indiana,” Allen said, trying to keep his emotions in check. “Not many may have done that. So, living the dream has been pretty awesome.
“I’m proud of this team, I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given. I wanted this so bad for our university, for our alumni, for all of the people that support us and invested in this program. …To get the eighth win and the Bucket all in the same time is pretty special. Couldn’t be prouder of this team.”
Saturday marked the first time under Allen that Indiana has defeated Purdue and claimed the Old Oaken Bucket. This will also be the first year under his leadership the Hoosiers have gone bowling.
With a win in the bowl game, Indiana will hit the nine-win mark for just the third time in program history.
Allen and the Hoosiers have had an incredible season, finishing the year 8-4, clinching a postseason berth and being ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time in 25 years.
There’s a lot Allen and Indiana has to celebrate after the win in West Lafayette.