BHS Boys Soccer vs Rudder

Bryan Vikings head soccer coach Tommie Allmon talks to Sammy Rosas after he scored against Rudder on Monday at Merrill Green Stadium. Allmon is retiring after 34 years as coach.

In May 1983, Tommie Allmon took a trip to Bryan after his college professor told him about a coaching opportunity with the Vikings’ boys soccer team.

The trip began the next 37 years of his life, and Allmon continues to coach for the Vikings as a girls soccer assistant after serving as their boys head coach for 34 years.

Former Bryan athletic director Merrill Green needed a new head soccer coach after the school’s first year participating in the sport. Green’s daughter, Stephanie, worked at Southern Nazarene — the same college Allmon played soccer for — and mentioned him as a candidate for the job.

Before Green could finish giving Allmon and his wife Sharon a tour of the campus, he surprised the young coach with a job offer on the spot.

“He said [human resources] just called me and the job is yours if you want it,” Allmon said. “You’re not really prepared for somebody to say that to you, because you don’t know whether to say, ‘OK, I’ll take it’ or ‘Let me think about it.’”

Allmon took the job and held it through the 2017 season. Over his tenure, the Vikings went 370-267-65 with 19 playoff appearances and six district championships. Allmon was named district coach of the year seven times and became a staple in the Bryan community, spending the better part of four decades at one school. His wife also taught in the school district, where their two children were educated without moving from city to city, something Allmon said he wanted to avoid.

Despite the consistency of his job, Allmon also has experienced the standard changes all coaches deal with like player turnover and UIL realignment every two years. But one of the biggest changes centered on where his team practiced and played. At different times, Allmon and his staff held practices at Stephen F. Austin Middle School, the parking lots in front of Bryan’s basketball gyms and baseball fields, Sam Rayburn Middle School and occasionally the football field. Girls head soccer coach Chris Gibson said Allmon worked hard to find places for his players to practice and play, which included setting up the field himself and working with other schools in the community.

Neither soccer nor coaching were always in Allmon’s plans. Growing up in Pflugerville, he said he didn’t have a chance to play in school or around the community.

“I never played in high school,” Allmon said. “I went to Pflugerville, which was a smaller school, and I always enjoyed soccer, but I never had the chance to play. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, there wasn’t a lot of places to play. It was more in the East Coast and West Coast states.”

Allmon didn’t play competitive soccer until his sophomore year in college when Southern Nazarene started its program. He tried out for the team and made the squad despite having little experience, then later earned a scholarship when the team became sanctioned by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Allmon also latched onto a burgeoning program at Bryan, building it until he decided to step away. But he also didn’t want to leave the game completely, and he moved over to be the girls assistant coach in 2018. Allmon said he wanted a change of pace, and he’s happy about his decision.

“If I’d known how much I enjoyed coaching the girls, I would’ve done this a long time ago,” Allmon said, adding that the girls’ eagerness to compete and respect for the coaching staff has made the move worthwhile.

It was a no-brainer for Gibson, who has known Allmon for almost 18 years. The two had often joked about coaching together, and now they get to do so in the stadium named after Allmon’s former boss. Gibson said the best part of the partnership for him is having an experienced and knowledgeable coach just a few feet away at games and practices.

“I don’t have to say, here’s what I want to work on today. Here’s what we need to do. He just knows,” Gibson said. “He’s got drills. He’s got activities, and he knows what to do. He watches practices and says, ‘Oh, we were struggling here. Let’s stop and fix it.’ I don’t have to sit there looking over his shoulder.”

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