William L. Allen

Allen from the 1900 Michiganensian
Biographical details
Bornc. 1877
DiedMay 13, 1907 (aged 30)
Las Vegas, New Mexico
Alma materUniversity of Michigan
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Michigan (varsity reserves)
Washington State
Washington State
Head coaching record
College Football Data Warehouse

William Lindsay Allen, sometimes identified as William Luedyard Allen, (c. 1877 – May 13, 1907) was an American football player and coach. He played college football at the University of Michigan and was a player on the 1898 Michigan Wolverines football team that won the school's first Western Conference championship. During the 1900 and 1902 college football seasons, he was the head football coach at Washington Agricultural College (later known as Washington State University) located in Pullman, Washington. He compiled a record of 6–3–1 as the head coach at Washington Agricultural.

Early years

Allen was born in approximately 1877 and was a resident of Sac City, Iowa.[1] He was the son of William Allen (born c. 1816 in Virginia) and Sarah Allen (born c. 1847 in Wisconsin). At the time of the 1880 United States Census and the 1885 Iowa Census, the family was living at Sac City.[2][3]

Allen began his education at the University of Notre Dame.[4] In 1897, he enrolled at the University of Michigan as student in the Department of Laws. As a first-year student in 1897, Allen was the vice president of his class and the captain of the varsity reserve football team. As a second-year student in 1898, he played at the guard position for the undefeated 1898 Michigan Wolverines football team that won the school's first Western Conference championship.[4][5][6] He was a starter at guard in Michigan's 21–0 victory over Michigan State Normal,[7] its 29–0 victory over Kenyon College,[8] and its 12–5 victory over Illinois,[9]

As a third-year student, Allen was the coach of the varsity reserves football team.[4] He graduated from Michigan with a Bachelor of Laws degree as part of the Class of 1900.[10]

Washington Agricultural

1900 W.A.C. football team, Allen at lower right

After graduating from Michigan, Allen was hired as the head football coach at Washington Agricultural College (now Washington State University) in Pullman, Washington. He led the team to an undefeated record of 4–0–1 in the 1900 college football season.[11] In his first four games as the head coach, Allen's team won shut out victories over L.A.A.C. (2–0 on October 13, 1900 at Lewiston), S.A.A.C. (6–0 on October 20, 1900 at Pullman), W.W.A.C. (5–0 on November 10 at Walla Walla), and S.A.A.C. (21–0 on November 24 at Spokane). The season ended with a 5–5 tie in a Thanksgiving Day game with the University of Washington in Seattle.[11] The 1902 Washington Agricultural yearbook, the Chinook, noted: "The football teams during the season just past have, for the first time in the history of athletics at the W. A. C., had the assistance of a coach. W. L. Allen, a graduate of the University of Michigan, was procured by the Athletic Association to coach the men; he was very successful and has built a strong foundation for our future in football."[12] He returned to coach the team in 1902 and compiled an overall record of 6–3–1.[13][14]

Later years

By 1902, Allen had moved to Seattle, Washington.[15] He died in May 1907 at Las Vegas, New Mexico, and was buried at Cherokee, Iowa.[16]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Washington State Cougars (Independent) (1900)
1900 Washington State 4–0–1
Washington State Cougars (Independent) (1902)
1902 Washington State 2–3
Washington State: 6–3–1
Total: 6–3–1


  1. Calendar of the University of Michigan 1899-1900. University of Michigan. 1900. p. 328.
  2. Census entry for William Allen, Sarah Allen, and children Hattie, Willie and Richmond. Willie was listed as being three years old, born in Iowa. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Year: 1880; Census Place: Jackson, Sac, Iowa; Roll: 363; Family History Film: 1254363; Page: 177A; Enumeration District: 187; Image: 0034.
  3. Census entry for William Allen, Sarah Allen, and William L. Allen. Iowa, State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line].
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Michiganensian. 1900. p. 70.
  5. "1898 Football Team". Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
  6. "1898 Michigan Football Roster". Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.
  7. "Trying Out Men: U. of M. Coaches Had Twenty-Four in the Normal Game; Three Touchdowns in Fair Shape Marked the First Half; The line Slowed Down in Second, One Score Being Made". Detroit Free Press. October 2, 1898.
  8. "Michigan 29; Kenyon, 0". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 7. October 9, 1898.
  9. "Michigan Wins An Easy Victory: Illinois Plays the Wolverines Close in the First Half Only". Chicago Daily Tribune: p. 6. November 13, 1898.
  10. "Student Profile William Lindsay Allen". University of Michigan Law School.
  11. 11.0 11.1 . Washington Agricultural College. 1902. p. 73.
  12. . Washington Agricultural College. 1902. pp. 68, 70.
  13. College Football Reference Washington State University Football Records
  14. Miami Herald Washington State University all-time football records
  15. General Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1837-1901. University of Michigan. 1902. p. 323.
  16. "Necrology". The Michigan Alumnus: p. 30. April 1908.

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