Damon Allen will work with the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders’ coaching staff as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program.
It’s the same program former CFL quarterback Henry Burris participated in last year with the Chicago Bears. The Bears decided to keep Burris on their staff for the 2021 season.
Allen, 57, played 23 seasons in the CFL with Edmonton (1985-88, 1993-94), Ottawa (89-91), Hamilton (1992), Memphis (1995), British Columbia (1996-2002) and Toronto (2003-07). He led teams to four Grey Cup titles and three times was named the championship game MVP.
When Allen retired in 2008, he was the leading passer in pro football history (72,381 yards). He has since been passed by Drew Brees (80,358), former CFL star Anthony Calvillo (79,816) and Tom Brady (79,204).
Allen’s older brother, Marcus, spent 11 seasons as a running back with the Raiders (1982-92), when the team was based in Los Angeles. Marcus Allen ran for 191 yards and scored two touchdowns in claiming MVP honours in leading the franchise past Washington 38-9 in Super Bowl 18.
Marcus Allen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003. Damon Allen was enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fames in 2012.
Damon Allen will embark on his coaching tenure with the Raiders July 23.
“I’m thankful to the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Program for giving coaches a chance to take part in this fellowship,” Damon Allen said in a statement. “I’m beyond excited that the Las Vegas Raiders selected me for this opportunity to learn, collaborate and communicate with some of the best minds in the NFL.”
Damon Allen also ran for 11,920 yards during his CFL career, which ranks him third all-time. He entered Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
The fellowship program offers minority coaches a chance to work with NFL coaches and staff during training camp. It was established in 1987 and is named after Bill Walsh, a three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach who died in 2007, and allows participants the chance to use NFL training camps, off-season workout programs and mini-camps to observe and gain experience to ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.