Legendary collegiate coach and player Frankie Allen has returned to UMBC and will serve as an assistant men's basketball coach, beginning his second term with the Retrievers on July 1, 2015.
Allen spent two years with the Retrievers from 2006-08, and was an integral part of the coaching staff that led UMBC to the 2007-08 America East title and NCAA Tournament. During that season, he shared coaching duties with then first-year assistant coach Aki Thomas. Allen has long served as Thomas' mentor, a relationship which started when UMBC's head coach was recruited by and competed for Howard University's head coach in 2000-01.
"Coach Allen and I have maintained a close relationship since my playing days at Howard University where he coached me," Thomas said. "I have always respected his knowledge, work ethic and sincerity. We want our coaches to be great role models for our players and there is no finer man to mentor our young players than Coach Allen. His 39 years of experience will be a great benefit to our program. It's great to bring him back to UMBC."
In 2013-14, Allen completed his 24th year overall as a head coach at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. He has amassed 265 wins at four different schools.
In the spring of 2013, Allen was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Portsmouth, Virginia. In four years at Roanoke College (1967-71), Allen amassed more than 2,780 points and 1,758 rebounds to lead the state of Virginia in both categories. During his time with the Maroons, he led the teams he was a part of to a pair of Mason-Dixon Tournaments and an 82-34 record as a student-athlete. Allen earned All-America honors as a senior and was the first African-American resident student to earn a degree (B.A., Philosophy) from the college.
In addition to his head coaching tenure at UMES (2008-2014) and Howard (2000-05), Allen piloted Virginia Tech and Tennessee State. He served at Virginia Tech from 1987-91, earning Coach of the Year honors from the Metro Conference and the Virginia Sportswriters Association in 1988. As head coach at Tennessee State (1991-2000), he won three Ohio Valley Conference titles and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Under his tutelage at Howard, the program was resurrected and the Bison recorded double-digit victories in his first three seasons. He led the team to the school's first winning record (18-13, 2001-02) in 16 years.
Allen remains the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at any collegiate level in the state of Virginia. He was a three-time Virginia College Basketball Player of the Year (1969-71).
Allen is married to Cynthia Rogers and has three daughters, Talhia Allen of St. Louis, Mo., Ashley Allen of Nashville, Tenn., and Alexis Pate of Washington, D.C.
He will join John Zito, Brian Johnson and Rob Fusaro (director of basketball operations) on the sidelines with Coach Thomas this winter.