He’s back: Columbia rehires Brian Allen after 2 seasons away

Columbia High School coach Brian Allen during a Tigers practice. (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brian Allen is returning to the sidelines of a Columbia High School football program he knows well.

After two seasons away, Allen was rehired to keep the Tigers program rolling along. The Lake City Reporter was the first to report Allen’s hire. In bringing back the well-respected former Tigers star, Columbia is looking to maintain consistency within the program.

Allen initially stepped away in June 2021 after a 10-year run as Columbia’s head coach. Demetric Jackson Sr. initially replaced Allen, and now it’s Allen replacing Jackson.

Jackson spent two seasons at his alma mater, leading Columbia to a 15-9 record in his time there. The Tigers went 9-4 last season and reached the Class 3S state semifinals.

The Tigers were 86-33 during Allen’s first stint, including a state semifinal run in 2015. He coached numerous players who went on to star in college and saw Columbia grad Laremy Tunsil go on to become a first-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2016.

His final season in Lake City included his summertime decision to step back from the head coaching role due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Allen later returned and helped the Tigers recover from an 0-5 start with a five-game winning streak and reach the playoffs.

That 5-6 finish was the worst of his career, although Columbia never missed the playoffs in Allen’s 10 seasons there. Allen graduated from Columbia in 1996 and signed with Florida State. He was a third-round draft pick of the Rams and spent four seasons in the NFL.

High school football coaching changes

SchoolFormer coachNew coach
Atlantic CoastMike MontemayorStep Durham
Bartram TrailDarrell SutherlandCory Johns
Christ’s ChurchKoreen BurchVacant
ColumbiaDemetric JacksonBrian Allen
Fleming IslandDamenyum SpringsChad Parker
HilliardWaylon CoxDaniel Thomas
JacksonChristopher FoyVacant
Keystone HeightsChuck DickinsonSteve Reynolds
MenendezMatt PotakBen White
OakleafMarcus Miller (interim)Christopher Foy
Tocoi CreekMike KolakowskiVacant
West NassauRickey ArmstrongGunnar Cox
WolfsonStep DurhamJermaine Wilson

It has been an active offseason for area coaching moves, especially in St. Johns and Nassau counties. Bartram Trail’s Darrell Sutherland and Menendez’s Matt Potak also resigned following the season. In Nassau, Gunnar Cox replaced Rickey Armstrong at West Nassau. And Hilliard’s position came open Tuesday.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.