Allen: Still no 'official' contact with Auburn
USF defensive coordinator Tom Allen said Tuesday has "not been contacted by anyone officially" regarding the coordinator vacancy at Auburn.
Allen, who has transformed the Bulls unit into one of the American Athletic Conference's best in one season, first was reported as a possible candidate to replace Will Muschamp at Auburn by 247Sports over the weekend. Allen said he addressed the speculation with his players on Monday.
"Names get thrown around and that’s just where it is and that’s just part of it, because the kids played well," Allen said during USF's bowl media day Tuesday afternoon.
"I told (the players), ‘It’s because of you. You guys started all of this.’ But that’s the reality of it and that’s the nature of this business. I’m a South Florida Bull and I have a great job.”
Allen, 45, said he has no real relationship with Tigers coach Gus Malzahn outside a "professional" connection. Allen served as Arkansas State assistant head coach in 2011 under Hugh Freeze, who was replaced by Malzahn when Freeze (and Allen) left for Ole Miss the following year.
Entering Monday's Miami Beach Bowl, Allen's unit -- which operates out of a 4-2-5 scheme -- ranks in the top 40 nationally in total defense (361.2 ypg), pass-efficiency defense (113.28) and run defense (140.6 ypg). The "Bull Shark" defense allowed none of its eight AAC foes to exceed its scoring average, holding seven well below it.
He earns $350,000 annually, but the new five-year deal to which Coach Willie Taggart has agreed will increase the salary pool for his assistants, athletic director Mark Harlan said.
When asked Tuesday if he's in a better position to keep an assistant such as Allen, Taggart said, "I would say better, but that Power Five money is a little different. We're better, we're good, but the reality of it is, they have a lot more money."
Muschamp, recently named coach at South Carolina, reportedly earned $1.6 million in his lone season as Auburn's coordinator. While Allen, who never has been a coordinator at a Power Five program, wouldn't command such a salary, he suggested he would owe it to his family to listen if officially contacted for the AU vacancy.
"It’s part of it," he said. "There may be others that call or inquire. Really, right now, it’s just names getting thrown around.”