DAMON ALLEN - CHAMPION. MENTOR. ADVOCATE. Damon Allen is considered one of the greatest CFL quarterbacks of all-time. Leading the all-time pro football passing chart with 72,381 passing yards, Allen surpassed Warren Moon’s total of 70,553 yards (in both the CFL and NFL combined) on September 4, 2006 during the annual CFL Labour Day Classic. He also stands fifteenth on the all time professional rushing list (third on the all-time CFL list behind Mike Pringle and George Reed) and retired only 323 yards behind his older brother, NFL Hall of Famer and Superbowl MVP, Marcus Allen.
As the most prolific passer in professional football history, Allen was the quarterback for five different CFL teams including the BC Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ottawa Rough Riders and the Toronto Argonauts. Allen led four different teams to Grey Cup champion status and earned titles of CFL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year, CFL All-Star, and Grey Cup MVP. Allen retired on May 28, 2008, at age 44, after 23 years in the CFL.
Damon Allen started playing football by the age of six for Valencia Park Pop Warner in San Diego. Allen played safety on defense and helped bring his team to the championship game in the Mighty-Mites league. Allen’s first year as quarterback was in Junior Peewee. In this league his team won the championship. Allen became a force to be reckoned with, leading his team to two undefeated seasons, and winning the Junior Peewee league title for three years in a row. At Lincoln High School, Damon was the starting quarterback for the varsity team. He went on to a record of 22-2, first team all-CIF and Tribune Player of the Year. He led his team to two 2A Division CIF Football Championships.
Damon Allen went on to play college football for California State University. Allen led the Titans to two Pacific Coast Athletic Association championships and broke a 26 year NCAA record with three interceptions in over 300 attempts, as well as seven other school records. Allen was a first team PCAA quarterback, and named the UPI All West Coast team quarterback. Allen was sixteenth in overall voting for the 1984 Heisman Trophy and played in the Senior Bowl College All-Star game.
Damon Allen was not only an outstanding football player he was also a superior baseball player. His Titans' baseball team won the 1984 College World Series. Allen was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 1984 Major League Baseball Draft in the seventh round, the same year the Tigers won the Major League Baseball World Series. Allen never signed a professional, major league baseball contract with the Tigers, but did sign one with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1993. Allen reported to the Pirates' spring training camp in 1994, but ultimately left camp and decided to play football.
In May 2010 Allen launched the Damon Allen Quarterback Academy to personally teach the skills and strategies of quarterbacking to students of all ages and skill levels. May 2011 Damon will host his first annual High School Quarterback Challenge, and his annual Night of Champions will continue to be held in the host city of the Grey Cup Festival. With a quiet confidence, sense of fun and storytelling, Allen speaks to many audiences on the importance of leadership and teamwork.
Allen is active in his community supporting a variety of charities, and is a strong voice advocating for the importance of amateur football across Canada. Allen is also an avid reader and draws inspiration from the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackie Robinson. Damon Allen and his wife, Desiree, have three daughters; Amanda, Alyssa and Ateya and son Airus. The Allen family resides in Oakville, Ontario.
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