Entering his twenty-first season as the Giants’ head coach, Jody Allen is College of the Sequoias’ winningest baseball coach and has overseen an already impressive span that has included eleven playoff appearances, five top-twenty finishes, four top-eight finishes, a trip to the Final Four in 1997, a school record of thirty-eight wins in one season, and a fourth-in-the-state finish.
Three seasons ago, Allen passed local baseball coaching icon Bert Holt, now working with Allen as an assistant, on the Giants’ all-time wins list. Allen is 500-353-3 as the Giants head coach. Holt was 423-343-3 during his tenure as head coach.
Under Coach Allen, the Giants have averaged 25 wins per season. Coach Allen was named the Central Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 2001. Allen got his 500th win in 2013 when COS defeated Modesto in a single-game elimination to qualify for the playoffs. One of the most memorable wins for the COS program under Coach Allen came in 2000 when the Giants defeated two-time state champion Sacramento City College in the first round of the playoffs. This marked the first time in playoff history that the No. 1 seed was beaten in the first round. More recently, Coach Allen’s 2006 squad capped its season with a 15-game winning streak that stretched into the top 10 of the Northern California playoffs.
While it would be easy to focus on Coach Allen’s 58 percent winning percentage, the highest since Pete Biden’s one-year stint as head baseball coach in 1947, it is noteworthy to recognize that his philosophy encompasses far more than winning baseball games. More than improving their skills on the field, Coach Allen works with his players to help them achieve their aspirations beyond COS baseball, whether it be completing their college educations, continuing their baseball careers at four-year schools or even competing as professional baseball players. He readily acknowledges that his teams honor many of the old-school baseball traditions and touches such as wearing uniform socks and stirrups up.
Jody Allen is a graduate of Hoover High School in Fresno, where he played football and baseball. His collegiate career and education began at Kings River College in Reedley, where he was a shortstop under longtime coach Jack Hacker. In 1984, he was honored as the Male Athlete of the Year. Coach Allen continued his education and playing career at Fresno State. As a junior he was part of the 1985 conference championship team, and as a senior his leadership qualities earned him the honor of being named team captain.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1987, Coach Allen returned to Kings River College to spend three seasons as an assistant coach under Jack Hacker. In 1990, he earned his masters degree in physical education and joined the staff at COS as an assistant under Coach Al Branco. After three seasons under Branco, Coach Allen was named head coach for the 1994 season.
Coach Allen’s extensive experience also reaches outside of the U.S. In 1985, he represented the United States on a team that traveled to Australia to play in a tournament against several club teams. In 1995 he also traveled outside of the U.S. as the head coach of a 15-16-year-old team that participated in and won an international tournament in China. In 1996, Coach Allen was an assistant coach for an 18-year-old-and-younger team that won yet another international tournament in Melbourne, Australia.
Jody and his wife, Lisa, have been married 26 years and live in Visalia with their four children, Kailey, Lindsey, Cydnee and Payton.