10 Questions with Point Loma High School football coach Joel Allen

Point Loma High School head football coach Joel Allen
(Thom Vollenweider)

Ten Questions is a series in the Point Loma-OB Monthly that shines a spotlight on notable locals we wish we knew more about. This month’s featured personality is Point Loma High School varsity football coach Joel Allen.

Less than two years ago, Point Loma High’s football program was at a low point. The COVID-19 pandemic had caused the fall 2020 season to be delayed to the following spring and cut to five games, with no playoffs. The Pointers played just one game that season, a lopsided loss, and then canceled the rest of the schedule because of a shortage of players.

Joel Allen had just taken over as head coach, replacing the retired Mike Hastings, who had led the Pointers for 22 years, leaving Allen with big shoes to fill after serving for about a decade as head coach and athletic director at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla.

There are a lot of unknowns about the new high school football season, but one thing is certain: The Point Loma Pointers will be led by a new coach, Joel Allen.

Dec. 11, 2020

In fall 2021, Allen’s first full season as coach, Point Loma rebounded from an 0-3 start to finish 4-6, followed by a first-round playoff loss.

But the fall 2022 season has seen a Pointers resurgence, with an 8-2 record and the No. 2 seed in Division III of the CIF San Diego Section playoffs. The Pointers earned a first-round bye and are scheduled to play at home Friday, Nov. 11, against the winner of the Nov. 4 game between Morse and El Capitan.

Here is Allen’s bio of himself:

“I have lived in San Diego my entire life. I grew up in Chula Vista (both my parents are born and raised in San Diego as well). We moved to Jamul in East County when I was in second grade and attended high school at Christian High in El Cajon. I played football, basketball and baseball. I loved all aspects of the game and even loved all the different styles of coaching I received along the way.

“I married my high school sweetheart when we were 20 years old. We have three amazing kids — Reese, 13, Tessa, 10, and Trey, 9. I worked at The Bishop’s School ... [and] loved every minute of the job and have lifelong friends from that time.

“My family and I lived in East County until about six years ago. when we moved to Bay Park. During the COVID shutdown of schools, I decided it was time to make a career change. My brother started an amazing company in 2009 and had asked me to come work with him for some years. At the time he first inquired, I was not ready to leave education. When I made the transition in 2020, I thought I was going to step away from coaching for a few years. At the same time ... the Point Loma head coaching job came open. I figured it was now or never, so I decided to apply. I was very thankful for the opportunity. ... I could not be happier with the way this season is progressing and the future of my time there.”

Now on to the 10 Questions:

Q. What attracted you to the Point Loma-Ocean Beach area as a place to live and/or work?

A. I have lived in San Diego all my life. ... My wife and I ... have loved being so close to the beach. My work is in Point Loma and for 11 years I worked in La Jolla at The Bishop’s School. The communities feel very similar — the kids, athletes and families are all very close and welcoming.

Q. What are your favorite places to go in Point Loma and Ocean Beach?

A. Our office is across the street from Liberty Station, so we spend most of our time (when I am not on the practice field) walking around Liberty Station enjoying all it has to offer.

Q. If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add to improve Point Loma or Ocean Beach?

A. Maybe a few more ways in and out. Sometimes during peak times, it takes awhile to get on the freeway. Other than that, I am not sure there is much to change.

Q. Who or what inspires you?

A. Honestly, most of my inspiration comes from other coaches and the players. Other coaches are always forcing me to be better at what I do. They bring a lot of wisdom, knowledge and intellect. I enjoy learning something new. And the kids, they keep me feeling younger than I am. They always bring so much energy and excitement to the playing field. It’s easy to work hard when you know they are doing the same.

Q. If you hosted a dinner party for five, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

A. Bill Belichick, Peyton Manning, Manny Machado, Tony Gwynn and Will Ferrell (for comic relief)

Q. Tell us about what you are currently reading or watching on TV.

A. I was watching all the Padre games. Loved seeing them play in the playoffs. I also love cooking, so I keep up on any cooking show I can.

Q. What would be your dream vacation?

A. Anything with my family. We are taking a trip to New York during Christmas time that I am looking forward to. I really enjoy doing something that we all appreciate.

Q. What are your five favorite movies of all time?

A. All the “Rocky” movies (I know it’s more than five), “The Fugitive,” “Good Will Hunting,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Rudy”

Q. What is your most prized possession?

A. My family. ... I truly enjoy spending time with them (when they all get along ... ha ha).

Q. What is your motto or philosophy of life?

A. If you are making someone else’s life better, then you are doing something right!

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