IU coach to fund Franklin College weight room in honor of father

By Andy Bell-Baltaci | Daily Journal

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As he starts building off of a successful 2020 season, Indiana University’s head football coach wants to help Franklin College students build muscle.

Tom Allen, the highest paid public employee in Indiana, is donating some of his almost $5 million salary to build a weight room as part of the Johnson Memorial Health Athletics Annex, a new athletic complex Franklin College officials hope to break ground on this fall, according to a Franklin College news release.

The Allen family chose not to make the donation amount public, spokesperson Deidra Baumgardner said.

Allen’s father, Tom Allen Sr., was a Franklin College alumnus who as a member of the college football team in 1958 persuaded football coach Stewart “Red” Faught to include weight training equipment in The Barn, now known as the Fitness Center. That equipment included a bale of hay and concrete blocks, according to the release.

This time around, students won’t be moving hay. The donation will ensure the doubling of available weight training space, which will allow more flexibility in scheduling team workouts and create more time for students who aren’t on teams to work out, according to the release.

More precise details concerning the weight room have not been finalized yet, Baumgardner said.