Around Kansas: Phog Allen

(Deb) Welcome to Around Kansas, I’m Deb Bisel, your co-host. “Beware of the Phog.” And of course we mean Phog Allen. And if you’ve ever been to the Allen Fieldhouse when the cheers and chants of the KU fans can reach upwards of 120 decibels then you know what “Beware the Phog” means and what impact that has on the opposing teams. It can scare the doodle waddle out of ’em when they’re out on the court at the Allen Field House. Well you know Phog Allen, Forrest Allen, actually played at KU before he was the coach. He played for James Naismith and he succeeded him then as the coach at KU. Phog Allen was born in Missouri. Go figure. And he and his brothers formed their own basketball team when he was just ten years old. And at that time the rules developed by Naismith allowed only one player to shoot the free throw. And for the Allen family, that was Phog. He became a student at KU in Lawrence in 1904 and in 1905 he was also playing for the Kansas City Athletic Club. It was his idea to promote the game by conducting a world championship basketball. The Kansas City team was to play the touring Buffalo, New York Germans in the Convention Hall. Each of the games was to have a different referee and Naismith did the honors for the third game. Allen, once again the designated free thrower hit 17 of his attempts and the KCAC team won the national championship. Now while Allen was playing for KU, he also coached the nearby Baker University team for three seasons, from 1905 to 1908. Now when KU coach Naismith decided to leave in 1907, even though he was only a senior Phog Allen was appointed the coach of the team. And you know what, you know who the only losing coach was in KU history was? James Naismith. So, Phog Allen who went on to a stunning record at KU really outstripped and out performed his former coach. He had… he compiled in 50 seasons a 746 to 264 losses record. Upon his retirement he had the all time record for the most coaching wins among the college basketball coaches. Today, KU continues to honor this great coach by playing in Allen Fieldhouse and Allen was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959. He died in 1974. Go over to KU show your sport. “Beware of the Phog.” We’ll be right back.

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