Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial! Advertisement
Ernest Duncan "Pokey" Allen, Jr
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Jan. 23, 1943
Mineral County
Montana, USA
Death: Dec. 30, 1996
Missoula County
Montana, USA

Ernest Duncan "Pokey" Allen, Jr-He was a football player and coach in the United States and Canada. He served as the head football coach at Portland State University from 1986 to 1992 and at Boise State University from 1993 to 1996, compiling a career college football record of 87412. Allen led his Portland State Vikings to consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II National Football Championship in 1987 and 1988 and guided the 1994 Boise State Broncos to the Division I-AA title game. Allen attended Missoula County High School in Missoula and was a standout high school athlete in football, basketball, and track. He accepted a scholarship to play college football at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Utah was a member of the Skyline Conference, and soon to be a charter member of the WAC in 1962. As a quarterback and cornerback, he led the Utes to a 32-6 victory over West Virginia in the 1964 Liberty Bowl and was named the game's most valuable player. Professionally, Allen played three seasons in the Canadian Football League with the British Columbia Lions and Edmonton Eskimos. Following his CFL playing career, Pokey Allen became an assistant coach in 1968 at Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C., Canada. Five years later, he was named co-coach of the team. After nine years at Simon Fraser, Allen returned to the U.S. and became an assistant coach at Montana in 1977, followed by other assistant coaching positions with Eastern Washington and California. In 1983, Allen signed on as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Express of the USFL, the new professional league which played its games in the spring. Two years later, he moved to Portland, Oregon, as defensive coordinator for the Portland Breakers. Following the folding of the USFL, Allen became the head coach at Portland State University in 1986. Allen coached the Vikings to their first playoff appearances, including back-to-back trips to the Division II finals in 1987 and 1988, though the team lost both games. He was named coach of the year in the Western Football Conference five times. Allen was as much noted for his personality as his coaching. He took part in a humorous series of television commercials to sell tickets for Portland State games, with stunts such as dancing the Hokey Pokey, betting a month's salary on attendance at the game, allowing fans to vote on whether to pick heads or tails at the coin toss, and most famously, a series of commercials in which Allen promised to have a meteor, an elephant, or himself (shot out of a cannon) land in the backyard of anyone not buying Portland State season tickets. In 1992, Allen's Division II Vikings visited Bronco Stadium in Boise in late October and soundly defeated the I-AA Boise State Broncos 5226. After Boise State lost their next three games to close out the season, head coach Skip Hall promptly resigned and Allen and his entire coaching staff were hired away from Portland State. In his second year at Boise State in 1994, he led the Broncos to a 101 regular season and a Big Sky championship, the first since 1980. The Broncos were invited to the 16-team Division I-AA playoffs and advanced to the national finals, but lost, 2414, to Jim Tressel's Youngstown State Penguins at Huntington, West Virginia, and finished the season at 132. Allen kept his reputation for publicity stunts. During the run to the 1994 national championship game, Allen challenged local supporters, promising to ride a horse in downtown Boise if Bronco Stadium was sold out for their annual rivalry game versus Idaho, in which the Vandals had won 12 straight over the Broncos. The stadium was sold out, BSU won the game 2724, and Allen kept his promise. Days after the 1994 championship game, Allen was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of muscle cancer. The tumor in his upper right arm was removed in March and he underwent extensive chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant in July at the Fred Hutchinson Center in Seattle. He returned to coach the Broncos in 1995 while going through treatment, and the cancer was declared in remission in December 1995, but the doctors warned of likely recurrence. After finding a lump on his chest the following summer, cancer was found in both lungs and Allen took a medical leave of absence on August 6th; several days later he underwent extensive surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Tom Mason filled in as interim head coach in 1996 and the Broncos stumbled to just one win in their first ten games. Allen returned for the final two games of the 1996 season, against New Mexico State and Idaho. His win against NMSU was his first and only Division I-A win. He resigned in early December, following a 6419 loss to Idaho in November. While visiting family in Montana over the holidays, he fell and his conditioned worsened; he died at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula at the age of 53. Boise State's come-from-behind, trick play-laden victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, which brought even more national attention to the program that Allen helped build, came 10 years to the day after Allen's burial. Allen was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

Created by: K
Record added: Dec 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 102364727
Ernest Duncan Pokey Allen, Jr
Added by: K
Ernest Duncan Pokey Allen, Jr
Added by: K
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


Privacy Statement and Terms of Service