George Allen will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Saturday, and it's long overdue. Allen became head coach of the Los Angeles Rams in
1966. A team that has gone thru seven straight losing seasons, including a 4-10 record in 1965.
He didn't waste anytime making changes. He talked longtime Ram Jack Pardee out of retirement, brought in veterans Bill George, Maxie Baughan, Myron Pottios, Roger Brown, Richie Petitbon, and Irv Cross, and meshed them with the Rams' Fearsome Foursome of Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olsen, and Rosey Grier. He ended the QB controversy by trading Bill Munson and making Roman Gabriel the starter. Allen moved the training camp to the brand new dorm and facilities at Cal State Fullerton. He was the first to hire a special teams coach and to have two practice fields (one grass the other astroturf). Allen made the Rams winners with a 8-6 record in his first year as Head Coach. In 1967, the Rams completed the first unbeaten preseason in their history. In one of the greatest Ram seasons ever, won their division with a 11-1-2 record. How tough was their division, the Colts went 11-1-2 and didn't make the playoffs. Allen was voted Coach of the Year. The 1968 season will be remembered for the infamous "lost down" game against the Bears. Which cost the Rams a shot at winning the division. After the 1968 season, Dan Reeves (owner of the Rams) fired Allen. While it is common for players verbally to state their loyalty to their coach. Ram players signed their names on the dotted line that if George Allen isn't rehired, they will retire. Those names that signed were Deacon Jones, Charlie Cowan, Roman Gabriel, Eddie Meador, Lamar Lundy, Maxie Baughn and Dick Bass. As you can guess, Allen was rehired. In 1969, the Rams won their first 11 games as they won their division for the second time in three years. Injuries plagued the Rams from the beginning in the 1970 season. A loss to Detroit in the last Monday Night game of the season knocked the Rams from first place. The Rams fell one game short from winning the division and Dan Reeves fired George Allen after the 1970 season. In his five seasons (1966 to 1970) as Head Coach of the Rams it was never dull. He turned a seven year loser into one of the elite teams in the NFL. Allen was hired and fired twice, even though his record with the Rams was an astounding 49-17-4.
It's impressive that in his 12 years as Head Coach in the NFL, he never had a losing season. But when you add that the two teams he took over, one didn't have a winning season for seven years (Rams) and the other only had four winning seasons since 1945 (Redskins), you call that Hall of Fame impressive.