The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics and head baseball coach Dan Hartleb announced the hiring of Spencer Allen as an assistant coach on Friday. A 12-year coaching veteran, Allen comes to Illinois from Creighton University, where he served as associate head coach/recruiting coordinator for the past two seasons.
"I am extremely excited about the addition of Spencer Allen to our coaching staff," Hartleb said. "Spencer has a proven track record of being one of the top recruiters in the Midwest. He has great experience and is well-respected by his peers as a recruiter and an on-the-field coach. Spencer will continue to help us bring in quality players that allow us to compete at the national level. Spencer brings a great work ethic with high energy and impeccable integrity."
Over the past two seasons at Creighton, the Bluejays boasted a 62-35-1 record with Allen on staff. In his first season back with the Bluejays, the production at the plate soared, jumping over 30 points above the average of the 2012 season (.283 in 2013 – .251 in 2012). Creighton went 30-18 in 2013 and 13-8 in the Missouri Valley, placing third in the conference. During the 2014 season, CU went 32-17-1 overall and 14-4 in the BIG EAST, winning the regular season title in its first year in the conference.
"I am very excited to be a part of the Illinois baseball program, this coaching staff and the athletic department," Allen said. "I am very familiar with this program and the success it has had recently and in its rich history. I look forward to meeting with the players and getting things going once I get on campus."
Allen was in his second stint in Omaha, Nebraska, returning to Creighton after three seasons serving as a member of the Washington State University coaching staff. With WSU (2010-12), Allen coached both hitters and catchers, and also served as the recruiting coordinator. In his three seasons at WSU, Allen helped the Cougars to a 91-78 overall record, guiding five members of the 2012 squad to be selected in the Major League Baseball draft.
The Olympia, Washington, native also spent two seasons at Purdue (2008-09) as the Boilermakers’ recruiting coordinator. Allen helped guide Purdue to two-straight Big Ten Tournament appearances. In 2008, the Boilermakers set school records with a .309 team batting average and 124 doubles. The doubles and Purdue’s 44 home runs led the Big Ten. The Boilermakers won 32 games that season, their highest total since 2001, and set school records for conference victories (21) and conference series wins (six).
Prior to Purdue, Allen served as an area scout for the Detroit Tigers where his responsibilities included identifying and tracking Major League Baseball prospects in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Allen was with the Tigers’ organization during the 2007 season.
A member of the Creighton coaching staff during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Allen worked primarily with the outfielders and catchers for the Bluejays. He assisted with recruiting, coordinated baseball camps and worked to improve the academic success of the baseball student-athletes.
The program compiled a 79-38 record during Allen’s two seasons on the bench, winning the first Missouri Valley Conference title in school history in 2005. That squad finished with a 48-17 record, the second-most wins in program history (51 in 1991). Creighton advanced to the NCAA Tournament following the 2005 regular season, defeating 17th-ranked North Carolina State in Creighton’s opening game of the Lincoln Regional.
In 2004, Allen was the volunteer coach at Iowa where he worked with outfielders and hitters. Allen’s first coaching job was in 2002 when he was an assistant at Edmonds Community College.
A 2001 graduate of Iowa State, Allen played three seasons for the Cyclones (1999-2001). An All-Big 12 Academic selection in 2001, he served as team captain during his final season and was a two-time Iowa State Scholar-Athlete Award recipient (2000, 2001).
Allen is married to the former Jessica Draemel, who was a member of the Creighton softball staff in the mid-2000s. The couple welcomed their first child, Jada, in June 2013.