All eyes are on Tulane coach David Pierce, who has been courted by multiple schools about their head coaching position this offseason.
However, it was Green Wave associate head coach Sean Allen who made the first splash.
Tulane’s lead recruiter and Pierce’s top assistant told The Advocate he accepted a job at Alabama on new coach Greg Goff’s staff. Goff left Louisiana Tech to take over the vacant Crimson Tide position June 18.
“The biggest thing was to have the opportunity to coach in the SEC and be at a place like the University of Alabama, which might be the best athletic department in the country,” Allen said. “My goal was to get into that league and see if I could get it done there.”
Allen has coached the past five seasons under Pierce, following him from Sam Houston State in 2014 after the pair spent three seasons together with the Bearkats. He is the first baseball coach to leave since Pierce arrived at Tulane with his SHSU staff fully intact (alongside assistant Philip Miller and volunteer assistant Phil Haig).
Tulane reached the NCAA tournament the past two seasons, snapping a six-year drought and won the American Athletic Conference championship in 2016.
“Leaving this staff was not easy,” Allen said. “Coach Pierce and Philip are two of my closest friends, and we had a relationship amongst the coaching staff that is pretty much unmatched.
But, I feel like I had to take this opportunity to grow and get into the SEC and give it a shot.”
While he expressed the pricey tuition at Tulane (more than $60,000 for a year) and NCAA-mandated scholarship limits were occasionally difficult to work around, he insisted they were not the reason he opted to leave, nor were they more complex than he initially expected.
“I think things will change for Tulane in the future with regards to financial aid, and that it will be a major selling point for the program,” Allen said. “Coach Pierce is working hard on it, but even if they don’t get it, he will find a way to win.”
Alongside his role as the lead in the recruiting process, Allen’s primary responsibility at Tulane was working with infielders and batters, while also coaching third base.
Several players credited Allen for the power surge Tulane experienced this year as the Green Wave pounded a conference-high 66 home runs and compiled a .423 team slugging percentage.
“The biggest thing I take away is just the passion of the fans, and they were hungry for us to win. I think they enjoyed the product we put on the field,” Allen said. “The credit goes to the kids. We provide guidance, but they got the job done.
“We didn’t meet all of our goals, but I’ll remember those teams forever and that conference championship is something no one can take away from this group.”