Allen Introduced as Football Coach


photo by Bryson Turner

New head coach Wes Allen addresses parents and players at a Meet and Greet event on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

When Wes Allen left Oviedo High School after the 2016 season, it was for his family. He didn’t want to leave coaching for a job at AstroTurf, but to be financially stable enough for his wife, Ann, to stay home with his then 3-year-old son Austin and a second child, it was what had to be done.

“When you’re a husband and a father, you take care of your family,” Allen said. “You have to make some choices and do some things that may not be exactly what you want to do, but it’s what the family needs.”

Now, after two seasons away, Allen began his coaching comeback Wednesday night when he was introduced as the new head football coach.

Allen was selected from multiple candidates by administration after a three-step process that consisted of interviews, deliberations, and reference contacts.

He had the knowledge base, he had experience growing a program, he had consistency within his program, and he’s well-known in the community,” Principal Mary Williams said. “I think all of those things add up.”

Allen’s hiring came in the wake of the Florida High School Athletic Associations’ biennial reclassification of football districts, which placed Hagerty into the 8A division for the first time in program history. The team’s new district also includes University, Winter Park, Colonial, Timber Creek, and Allen’s former team, Oviedo, marking the first time the two schools have been in the same district for football.

“The biggest difference between 7A and 8A around this area is the depth of the teams,” Allen said.

Allen is still assembling his staff, but he confirmed four coaches that would be joining him next season on Wednesday night. Steve Laurence, who coached with Allen at Oviedo for 12 years before becoming linebacker coach at Lake Mary, will be defensive coordinator. Joe Cianflone, who was most recently the quarterback coach for Lake Mary, will be offensive coordinator. Rob Suavao and Rich Turner, who were on now-retired Phil Zilgar’s staff, will be retained as defensive line coach and offensive line coach respectively. The hires were officially announced via the football team’s Twitter account (@Hagerty_FB) the following day.

Allen will continue to meet with other members of last year’s coaching staff, saying in an address to players and parents that if they wish to remain at Hagerty, he will find a spot for them.

Allen will also become a P.E. teacher and the boys weightlifting coach, positions vacated after Ziglar’s retirement last month.

The main factor that attracted both Allen and new athletic trainer Keith Miessau, also introduced Wednesday night, to Hagerty was the prospect of coaching within their community.

“My dream is for the Hagerty community shut down on Friday night and fill the stadium,” Allen said. “This place needs to be rocking on Friday night, and the way you do that is to get the community involved and be a face in your community.”

Answering questions from parents and players, Allen revealed two of his goals. One, aided by his newfound experience in the industry, is to install turf for Sam Momary Stadium. The other is to take over what Zilgar started.

“[Zilgar has] built a very good foundation, one that we’re going to build our program off of,” Allen said. “[Hagerty] will be a football program that people are going to respect and dread playing. It’s going to happen faster than people believe.”

photo by Bryson Turner
Wes Allen with his wife, Ann, and two children, Austin (5), and Jordyn (11 months).