For Greg Allen, who is considered one of the outstanding collegiate golf coaches in the NCAA, the 2020-21 season is his 15th at the helm of the Vanderbilt women’s golf program.
Allen has made a big impact at Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores to 12 postseason appearances. Allen’s Commodores have been to 12 NCAA Regional Championships and advanced to five consecutive NCAA Championships from 2010-2014 for the first time in program history.
Following the 2018-19 campaign, Allen recognized as Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, the first such recognition in his career, after guiding the Commodores to a program-record six victories.
The most recent tournament win came at the 2019 NCAA Auburn Regional Championships in early May, propelling Allen’s nationally-ranked Vanderbilt squad into the NCAA Championships. One of his top pupils, freshman standout Auston Kim, also swept the 2019 NCAA Auburn Regional Championships individual title.
Allen has guided the Commodores to 14 tournament titles in his tenure on West End, including a pair of NCAA regional crowns.
Allen’s seventh Vanderbilt team in 2013-14 ranks with the 2018-19 among his most successful to date, winning four tournaments, including the 2014 SEC Championship and the NCAA East Regional, the Commodores’ first victories at the events since 2004. Simin Feng also won medalist honors at the SEC Championship and the Central District Invitational, while Jennifer Hahn won the NCAA East Regional individual title. Additionally, three different Vanderbilt golfers finished in the top five in 2013-14.
During his tenure at Vanderbilt, Allen’s teams advanced to five consecutive NCAA Championships (2010-14). He has coached two-time SEC Player of the Year recipient Marina Alex, SEC Freshman of the Year Simin Feng, two first-team All-Americans in Alex and Lauren Stratton and NCAA regional champions in Kim and Hahn.
Annually, Allen’s Commodores are among the SEC’s leaders in academic achievement. In 2017, he mentored the program’s SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year in Kate Sborov.
Allen has guided three teams to conference championships — the 2001 and 2002 Pac-10 titles at Arizona and the 2014 SEC crown at Vanderbilt.
In 2010, his first NCAA Championships team at Vanderbilt broke through to finish seventh in Wilmington, North Carolina. Also in 2010, he coached the SEC Player of the Year in Marina Alex and had two freshmen make the All-SEC Freshmen team in Anna Leigh Keith and Lauren Stratton.
In 2011, his Commodore team qualified for the NCAA Championship after winning a one-hole playoff against Florida State in the NCAA East Regional. It was Allen’s second consecutive trip to the national championship as Vanderbilt’s coach and eighth overall. He also guided Vanderbilt to their first back-to-back top 10 finishes at the NCAA Championship after his 2011 squad ended the event in a tie for 10th place. Two of his players, Alex and senior Megan Grehan, were named to the All-SEC second team at the end of the regular season.
In 2012, Vanderbilt advanced to the NCAA Championships for the third consecutive season and a date on their home course when the Commodores finished in second place at the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio. The Commodores’ second-place finish was the second-best at a regional in program history – only the 2004 team’s win at the Central Regional was better. Vandy finished in 11th place at the national championship, and Alex and Stratton were each named NGCA First-Team All-Americans. It was the first time in the history of the program that the Commodores have had two first-team All-Americans in the same season.
Allen came to Vanderbilt after a seven-year tenure as the head coach at Arizona, where he twice won the Pac-10 Conference, finished as NCAA runner-up in 2002 and coached Lorena Ochoa – the number one ranked player on the LPGA Tour before her retirement in 2010 – among nine other All-Americans.
Allen had a lengthy record of achievement at Arizona during his seven years there. In addition to his Pac-10 titles and 10 All-Americans, he coached eight NCAA All-Scholars, 13 Academic All-Pac-10 student-athletes, three NCAA Players of the Year, two National Freshman of the Year, three Pac-10 Players of the Year, two Curtis Cup selections and 21 All-Pac-10 performers. Two of his players won three Golfstat Cup Award for the nation’s lowest stroke average. His Wildcat teams also won nine tournament championships and registered 28 individual victories.
Allen arrived at Arizona after serving as assistant men’s golf coach at Texas from 1998-2000. He helped lead the 1999-2000 Longhorns to a banner year that included the NCAA Central Region Championships and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, its highest finish in five years. The squad ended the season ranked No. 8 in the final MasterCard Collegiate Rankings. The 1998-99 team had its best showing in six years, as it earned three tournament victories and finished in the top three in seven of its 13 competitions. Well known for his rapport with collegiate players, Allen handled many of the day-to-day operations for the Longhorns and assisted head coach John Fields with scheduling, recruiting and coaching at practices and tournaments.
Prior to that he was director of tournament operations for the American Junior Golf Association in Roswell, Georgia, where he spent five years as both director of tournament operations and tournament director. While in Roswell, Allen was responsible for planning and executing 47 national junior golf tournaments and other AJGA events. He oversaw all AJGA tournaments and was responsible for the supervision of eight tournament directors, as well as the hiring of 24 summer interns.
He is a native of Beechmont, Kentucky and graduated from Murray State in 1993 with a degree in journalism. As a student, he worked in the sports information office, where he was a liaison for numerous sports, including golf. Prior to graduation, Allen worked two summers as a communications intern for the AJGA, where he was responsible for all on-site media relations at 10 national junior golf tournaments.
Allen and the former Sarah Moore were married in August 2019. They are the parents of six children: Maggie, Mollie, Mason, Kylie, Mabry and Blake.
The Allen File
- 40 Individual victories under his tutelage
- 15 All-Americans
- 3 National Players of the Year
- 19 NCAA Regional Appearances as a head coach, including 11 at Vanderbilt
- 9 Consecutive NCAA Regionals as Vanderbilt Coach (2008-15)
- 12 NCAA Championship appearances
- 6 Conference Players of the Year
- 3 Golfstat Cup Awards
- 37 Academic All-Americans
- 25 All-SEC selections
- 10 All PAC-10 selections
- Coached several LPGA players including Lorena Ochoa, Natalie Gulbis, Erica Blasberg, Laura Myerscough, Alison Walshe, Marina Alex, Jacqui Concolino, Simin Feng and Jennifer Hahn
- Coached LET players Cassandra Kirkland, Adriana Zwanck, Liebelei Lawrence, and Megan Grehan