A former Mississippi College basketball standout, Tommy Allen went on to excel as a high school coach and became a successful insurance executive.
For his service to the Christian university, stellar career, and leadership roles with his church, the Meridian resident is being honored as MC’s 2020 Alumnus of the Year.
Allen’s roles include service as president of the MC National Alumni Board of Directors and leader of the National “M’’ Club. He’s been a member of the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
In 1982, the 1970 MC education graduate transitioned from teaching and coaching to work in sales. He’s worked with Mississippi Farm Bureau Casualty, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty and the Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Companies.
Allen is now in his 39th year of service, currently an agency manager in Lauderdale County, with offices in Meridian and Collinsville. In addition, the Magnolia native served as the chairman of deacons with First Baptist Church, McComb and First Baptist Church, Meridian.
Allen played basketball at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit before coming to MC. He played on the Choctaws basketball team coached by James Q. “Stute’’ Allen. But the basketball letterman learned much more off the court as a student at the Baptist-affiliated university.
“The Christian values and small school atmosphere were very important core values,” Allen said in a news release. “That led to friendships and relationships lasting over 50 years.’’
Being chosen for the university’s top award is an unexpected recognition during the institution’s 195th year, he says.
“I am overwhelmed for this honor and my heart is full of gratitude and emotion,” “I want to express my appreciation, gratitude and thanks to Mississippi College for its influence on mine and my family’s life.’’
Allen is married to the former Mary Emma Jagers. The Meridian couple has two adult daughters, Heidi Allen Smith and Kristi Allen. Heidi is a 1993 MC alumna, while Kristi graduated in 1998.The Allens have three grandsons.
A graduate of South Pike High, Allen began his career in the McComb public schools as a teacher and coach in 1970. He served as president of the McComb School Board from 1989-1992. Among Allen’s noteworthy honors: the baseball and basketball letterman was selected to the Southwest Mississippi Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.