Indiana coach Tom Allen fired, agrees to $15.5M buyout

Indiana fired football coach Tom Allen on Sunday, a day after the Hoosiers completed their third consecutive losing season.

Allen, who had led Indiana since 2017 after spending a season as the team's defensive coordinator, finished 33-49 as Hoosiers coach. Indiana dropped its final three games, including Saturday's rivalry contest at Purdue, to finish 3-9 this season. It had gone 9-26 overall and 3-24 in Big Ten play since the 2020 season.

"After continued evaluation of our entire football program, I have determined that we have lost momentum and that a change in leadership is necessary at this time," athletic director Scott Dolson said in a statement. "I want to thank Tom for all of the contributions he has made to IU in his seven years leading our program. His passion, character, and class made a positive impact on our student-athletes. We wish him well in his future endeavors."

Indiana reached national prominence in 2020, as the team went 6-2 during the COVID-shortened season and finished No. 12, its best finish since 1967 (No. 4). In March 2021, Indiana rewarded Allen with a new seven-year contract that increased his salary to $4.9 million annually and included a buyout of $20.8 million if the school chose to fire him before Dec. 1, 2023. The buyout would have dropped to about $8 million in 2024.

In announcing Allen's dismissal, the school said it had agreed to a $15.5 million settlement with the coach that will be paid over two installments.

Allen will receive one $7.75 million payment this year and another in 2024, an Indiana spokesman told ESPN. The amount will not be offset by future earnings, a source told ESPN, as his original buyout would have been.

Allen, a native of New Castle, Indiana, came up as a high school coach, including at Ben Davis in Indianapolis, before entering the college ranks. He served as an assistant at Arkansas State, Ole Miss and South Florida before joining coach Kevin Wilson's staff as Indiana defensive coordinator in 2016. Allen took over the program when Wilson resigned after that season.

"It has been my greatest professional honor to serve as Indiana's head football coach for the past seven years," Allen said in a statement. "Representing this University and this State has meant more to me than you can imagine.

"College football has changed dramatically over the past several years. Some of those changes have been a shock to the conscience of those who support IU football. The time has come to fully embrace those changes and I pray that IU does just that."