Robinson Tommy Allison

Tommy Allison went 53-46 with five playoff appearances in nine seasons at Robinson.

Robinson has been home to Tommy Allison for the past nine years. It’s where he raised his sons, where he has worked and coached and built relationships. But now he’s moving on to build a new home elsewhere.

Hallsville ISD has hired Allison as its new head football coach, approving the move at a Monday school board meeting. Even though Allison will be returning to East Texas, where he’s had success before – he won a state title at Cayuga in 2009 – he said it won’t be easy to say goodbye to Robinson.

“We’ve been here for nine years, and Robinson has been great to us,” said Allison, who came to Robinson in 2011 after one year in Jacksboro. “To see our boys go through school here – Chase was in seventh grade when we came and Cade was in fourth grade – but to see them go through school in one place for that long, you don’t get that very often. We’re very thankful. But we’re about to be empty nesters, and this is an opportunity to coach on the 5A level, to return to East Texas, and the timing just seems right.”

Allison went 53-46 in nine seasons piloting the Rockets, making five playoff trips while overseeing some of the more explosive offenses in Central Texas. His best years came in 2016 when Robinson went 9-3 and averaged 49.2 points per game and in 2014 when the Rockets finished 8-5 and reached the regional quarterfinals before falling to Burnet, 38-35.

Robinson went 5-5 in 2019.

More than the wins or the touchdowns, though, Allison said he’ll most cherish the friendships.

“It’s the relationships that we built with the staff,” Allison said. “There’s just great people here, and the hardest part of all of this is that. The people you meet and hang around with, all the friendships you build, it’s just a special time, and we’ll leave with a lot of good connections.”

In Hallsville, Allison said he’ll face some teams with which he’s familiar, as he played many of Hallsville’s opponents back when he was offensive coordinator at Palestine.

Robinson ISD recently made the decision to split its athletic director and head football coaching positions. It’s not without precedent among local Class 4A schools, as China Spring and La Vega both have separate ADs and head football coaches in the persons of Mark Bell and Brian Bell for China Spring and Willie Williams and Don Hyde for La Vega.

But that’ll also be the case at Class 5A Hallsville. Joe Drennon served as head football coach and athletic director before leaving for Grand Saline in January. Hallsville opted to split the head football and AD jobs in February, and hired former Commerce head coach Cody Farrell as the AD.

“It’ll be different, I’ll be able to spend 100 percent of my attention on football, but that’ll be exciting,” Allison said.

Allison said that with schools in flux due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he’s not sure when he’ll start in Hallsville and conclude his time in Robinson. “There’s no rush,” he said. “If something changes, we’ll adapt as we go.”

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