Randy Allen will return for a 20th season as Highland Park football coach, after all.
Three weeks after announcing his retirement, the winningest coach in school history said he has reconsidered and will return to the sideline next season, and for the foreseeable future beyond that.
Allen has been a head coach for the past 37 seasons overall — including stops at Ballinger, Brownwood, and Abilene Cooper — but sounded definitive on March 22 when he spoke about retiring at a press conference.
After all, he has won three state championships with the Scots, including the past two years in a row. He has a 96-1 record at Highlander Stadium. His 376 career victories rank third all-time in the state, and second among active coaches. He has won 223 games at HP, for an incredible average of 11.7 per season. His HP teams have earned 17 district titles, and the same number of seasons have ended with at least 10 wins.
Those numbers suggest he doesn’t much left to prove. But his decision to return was more about the relationships that he wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
"I simply didn't realize how much I would miss these players and coaches," Allen said. "My true calling in life is to help guide young men to success. I love coaching at Highland Park and making a positive impact on the lives of our players. During the last few weeks, I have been so thankful for the outpouring of love and appreciation from so many former players, coaches, the community and the administration. It has all helped me realize that being on the Scots sideline is where I belong."
HP will start spring practice in a few weeks, and will open the 2018 regular season at home against Rockwall on Aug. 31.