Trinity football remembers 1929 graduate Pete Allen for achievements both on and off the field

Tomorrow, at Trinity’s football game against  the University of Chicago, (Ill.) the school will celebrate Pete Allen. Allen was a student-athlete at Trinity University from 1925-1929. During his time at Trinity, Allen made history by becoming the only Trinity player to score a touchdown against the University of Texas at Austin in 1927. Allen is celebrated for his football accomplishments and his career as a successful student-athlete at Trinity.

The fact that the Trinity football team scored against UT-Austin only recently came to light. Before the discovery of the touchdown scored by Allen, it was assumed Trinity had gone scoreless against UT in the five times they met them from 1902 to 1926. The sixth, and final encounter in 1927 was the first and only time Trinity ever scored.

Allen’s story was rediscovered by retired religion professor Douglas Brackenridge, who found information on Allen’s life and football accomplishments after cleaning up the notes he used for his book, “Trinity University: A Tale Of Three Cities.”

“Long after I finished the book, I was tidying up some of my notes and I noticed in there I had photocopied a page out of the Mirage that said a Trinity [player] had scored against the University of Texas and that was back in 1927…I looked around and contacted the library (where he was born) and said “˜Have you ever heard of this guy?’ They had an obituary and they sent me that and I got the names of some of the family members. I found one of his sons and made contact with him,” Brackenridge said.

After making contact with Allen’s three surviving children, Brackenridge found out that none of Allen’s family knew he had scored against UT in 1927.

Trinity played what would be their final game against UT on Oct. 8, 1927 at Memorial Stadium in Austin. The score was 20-0 heading into the final minutes of the game and UT was on their one-foot line; they could have chosen to take a knee but instead chose to punt. The punt was blocked and in the end-zone  and Allen came away with the ball, scoring Trinity’s only touchdown against UT in football history.

However, this football feat was not the only thing special about Allen. A native of Whitesboro, Texas, Allen majored in economics and Spanish while at Trinity. Allen was also very involved in clubs on campus. He was president of the Scholarship Society of Trinity, vice-president of Blue Key and a member of the T Association, football letterman. Allen’s brother Houston Allen was also a member of the football team and was involved in numerous organizations on campus.

After graduation, Allen worked at Corsicana High School in Corsicana, Texas, where he taught history and coached football. Later Allen was president of Drane Junior High School in  Corsicana, Texas, for 25 years. During this time he also served as the president of the district 10 Texas State Teachers Association. After retiring from his job as president, Allen went to law school and practiced law until his death in 1988.

“He was a really high quality guy when he was at Trinity””he was a top student. I wanted to feature him not just because he scored a touchdown but because he, to me, is a prototype of what we want a student-athlete to be,” Brackenridge said.

Tomorrow, Allen’s life will be celebrated before the game when 20 of his surviving family members, including his three children and one granddaughter, a Trinity alumna of “˜87, will participate in the coin toss.

“We are not honoring him just for this unique football event but because he stands firmly in the long line of Trinity student-athletes who have exemplified the values of the university, and that is what makes him important. At Trinity we are interested STUDENT-athletes not student-ATHLETES with the emphasis being on “˜students,’ not “˜athletes,'” Brackenridge said.

Kickoff is tomorrow, Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. on the football field.