M.L. King hires Cortez Allen of Newton as head football coach

M.L. King will introduce Cortez Allen as its head football coach Thursday at 6 p.m., Allen confirmed to AJC.com.

Allen, the head coach at Newton the past three seasons, was on staff at M.L. King for its first three seasons of football from 2002 to 2004. M.L. King was 3-7, 11-2 and 11-3 in those seasons, quickly becoming a state power under head coach Kenny Barrow.

‘’It’s definitely an honor being able to return,’’ Allen said. “I helped start the program, and I’m really excited on going back. The guys that followed the staff I was on have done a tremendous job. The program has grown and prospered.’’

M.L. King suspended coach Michael Carson before the 2012 season, and he later resigned. Rober Freeman took over and led M.L. King to an 11-1 finish and its third straight region championship.

Since Carson arrived in 2010, M.L. King has been known for its passing offenses under quarterbacks Jonquell Dawson and Monqauvious Johnson.

Allen said that he would maintain aspects of the spread offense but planned to have a multiple I-formation team. Allen will bring three coaches from Newton. One is offensive Camiel Grant, also the offensive coordinator on M.L. King’s 2004 semifinal team.

‘’We’re going to try to bring a little more balance on offense with the run game,’’ Allen said. “We’ll still run some fun and gun and get it out there to those excellent athletes that we have, but we also want to be able to push the ball on through with the run game.’’

Also joining Allen from Newton will be defensive coordinator Spencer Fortson and defensive line coach Melvin Richey. Allen said he would like to maintain much of the 2012 staff that was interested in remaining.

Allen, a DeKalb County native, was 17-14 in three seasons at Newton. That’s the most wins for the school over a three-year stretch with one coach since 1993-95. Allen also was Newton’s track and field coach. His relay teams won state championships in the 400 meters in 2010 and 2011.

Allen played on Southwest DeKalb’s state championship team in 1995 and for Florida A&M for two seasons before graduating from the University of Georgia.

52 comments Add your comment

Dekalb Co Guy

February 28th, 2013
3:54 pm

Guess he knew he wasnt going to get the SWD job, MLK is a very nice consolation prize though.

all call

February 28th, 2013
9:13 pm

i-formation really calling all mlk receiver and QB yall need to transfer go to arabia, cedar grove miller grove go some where

dekalbFB1

February 28th, 2013
10:24 pm

@Dekalb Co Guy – MLK is a consolation prize? Maybe he didn’t WANT the SWD job. MLK has WON 3 straight region champion! SWD has won ZERO during that same span. You must be a homie (SWD).

dekalbFB1

February 28th, 2013
10:28 pm

@all call – What part of this article are you reading. Please tell me where did it state that he is abandoned the spread offense, he is only add more variety to the offense. You must be a HATER!!!

Rev Al

February 28th, 2013
11:46 pm

Where did Coach Freeman end up?

4th Ward

March 1st, 2013
7:50 am

congrads cortex….

4th Ward

March 1st, 2013
7:51 am

Enter your comments here

Dekalb Co Guy

March 1st, 2013
7:51 am

@dekalbFB1

sorry didnt mean any disrespect to MLK. nah, not a homie to either. I live in the northern part of the county. I was just thinking being a SWD alumnus, I assume he at least applied for the job. Not sure who is the coach gonna be at SWD anyway.

@dekalbFB1

March 1st, 2013
9:33 am

@Dekalb Co Guy no harm no foul. I don’t know if he applied either. I hope he understand what is expected in the LION den……

ron

March 1st, 2013
12:08 pm

MLK may have a nice football program but they have the worst students as far as discipline other than McNair.

rwdekalb

March 1st, 2013
12:20 pm

Hopefully the new head coach and his staff will keep MLK playing great football. Anybody heard anything about the coaching situation at SWD.

rwdekalb

March 1st, 2013
12:23 pm

Dont know how many starters returning for Arabia Mtn. on offense, they were a joy to watch last season. The defense wasnt bad either. If they return a lot of key players they will be dangerous this year.

Old School Coach

March 1st, 2013
12:47 pm

Congrad to Cortez and Grant you guys are returning to your roots i wish yall the best.MLK will be better off with two good coaches that loves the kids and the community.

City slicker

March 1st, 2013
12:48 pm

Hey don’t be talking bout my McNair kids because we used to kick mlk and Stephenson ass before ms coolin woods and mr.jones killed our program back in 09 when they let coach Moore go two days before the season opener

@dekalbFB1

March 1st, 2013
12:59 pm

@ron – Have you ever been inside the school? Are you sure the students were MLK students? If so please pray for them. If you have children you don’t know what they are doing when you are not there.

@dekalbFB1

March 1st, 2013
1:02 pm

@City slicker – yes McNair beat MLK for maybe twice. But we were developing our team, so you beating freshman and sophmores. But what the next two years. Remember the TIME!!!!!

Bill Cosby

March 1st, 2013
1:27 pm

Carver-Columbus needs a “Big-Time” coach who has the “Wow Factor”

City slicker

March 1st, 2013
1:42 pm

Ask coach Jarvis or barrow who was mlk biggest rival was before Stephenson

Mlk Fan

March 1st, 2013
4:54 pm

Running an I formation isn’t who mlk is. They have a great upcoming senior quarterback who has a very strong arm and receivers who have been watching since 9th grade behind Some of mlks best receivers. Them not being “balanced” wasn’t the problem it was the coaches. Football is evolving . Let them air it out !

Airraider

March 1st, 2013
6:34 pm

@Mlk & AllCall There is nothing wrong with the coach coming in installing another aspect of FOOTBALL. So what they have been airing it out, how many championships has that gotten you. No one said they will not throw the ball, they are simply adding to what is already there. You guys need to stop being critics and become better supporters of the MAN that was hiring. Question? what if they come in and win it all what will you have to say about them then. The negativity that is being out out there is gonna destroy and set the program back for years if your not careful. Kill the negativity and let these guys come in a do the job that they desire to do. You just may love the results

B Town Wolves

March 2nd, 2013
12:17 am

We might need to recruit some players……..yall got any good ones?

swatguy

March 2nd, 2013
12:47 pm

Freeman may wind up at Mays.

all call

March 2nd, 2013
1:19 pm

freeman at mays good luck

dekalbFB1

March 2nd, 2013
2:21 pm

@Airraider – I agree 100% MLK has talent for both the spread and I-formation. It will make our opponents defend the entire field. The QB is very good and with a good running game a play action will make the offense more effective!!!

.

Entertainment

all call

March 2nd, 2013
2:30 pm

mlk need balance instead of focusing on bs

all call

March 2nd, 2013
2:39 pm

mlk has alot of talent hope he use what he has and not go out and look for other players like the coaches did in the past……have some loylaty for the boys thats been there……build from what u have you have give a chance to shine….they ready….and coaches from the past season where ever u go i hope u promote your entire team instead of that bs….the boys were sick of it.

Mr. Johnson

March 2nd, 2013
4:56 pm

All Call
what do you know about who the former MLK coaches were promoting??? How do you send 24 out of 28 seniors from the 2012 teams and 25 out of 32 seniors from the 2011 team to college if you aren’t promoting guys. They got kids who didn’t have any film a free ride to school, so check the stats before you start exaggerating… and as far as balance goes, they were probably the most balanced team in Dekalb this past year. Just so happens that they were the most effective passing team in the state because they worked at it like crazy. In 2010-2011, they had Jonquel Dawson throwing to Demarco Robinson(Kentucky), Kevin Byard(Middle Tennessee State), Quenton Boswell(Savannah State), Blake Tibbs(Georgia), Carnell Boyd(Alabama State), Josh Stanford(Virginia Tech), Dontavious Heard(Memphis), Jordan Moore(Texas Christian), and Demarquis Polite-Bray(Texas Tech) who played very little the past two years, but flourished this year with the new qb Monqavious Johnson. The qb’s they had this past year benefitted tremendously from the offense that’s been in place. They upcoming senior they have in Roland Rivers will probably be a big time recruit because of his size alone. He’s 6′3 225lbs and has a cannon, but I’m sure he won’t have the numbers of the previous qb’s. If you look at the overall landscape of college football now, most teams are running a spread, run and shoot, no huddle offense that throw the football. Now that the previous staff is gone I don’t see King beating Stephenson(I know Gartrell is glad of that) or Tucker or even Miller Grove. I give Cortez Allen 3 years before he makes a change in coordinators even though Coach Grant is his good friend. The players, parents, and fans of MLK have gotten use to a high octane offense that can score from anywhere on the field and anything less than that will not be good.

all call

March 2nd, 2013
5:12 pm

if the talent is there use it dont go there changing to much im just saying

human resoures

March 2nd, 2013
9:27 pm

im hope coach allen check out his coaching staff especially the saftey coach from complaints of former parents the way he talk to the boys calling them nasty names i wintness this for my self im hoping the parents get together with signtures to have him removed he brings only negativy and drama to the team. as a coach u lift the boys up instead of tearing them down….being a fan since mlk open i have never heard such harst words toward anyone thank God my son is no longer their..when i saw that he was still on staff smh.. parents talk to coach allen and get that guy out of their before he destroy your kids self esteem

The Number One Fan

March 3rd, 2013
7:57 am

Dear Coach Allen:

The first thing you need to do as the new coach is try to keep Coach Evans and blend you offense with his offense. If you do this you all will be the STATE CHAMPS in 5A Football. The other thing you need to do is get as far away from Coach Collins and his dumb ways. Coach Collins will bring you down within two years ask Coach Carson or Coach Freeman.

Rob M

March 3rd, 2013
8:27 am

Sounds like a bunch of 5th graders talking here. Oh yeah, that’s the education you get in Dekalb now.

human resoures

March 3rd, 2013
9:24 am

@the number one fan Coach Collins is POSION to this team i totally agree…Coach Evans needs to stay!!

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

March 3rd, 2013
10:21 am

Air raid offense will win region championships not state championships otherwise MLK would have several. You have to look at the next level and see the results teams that can throw and run are champions. Being able run the ball shortens the game for your team and let’s your defensive people rest. If that type of offense is so great Dekalb teams should all made it to the finals in every class they play in. Well rounded teams rule ! Texas AM wasn’t in the final in college they lost two! McNair and Redan have good players they just dont play there anymore the transfer rule in Dekalb is a joke.

Real Dekalb VET

March 3rd, 2013
2:46 pm

MLK will be fine with the new system, the biggest challenge for the dekalb football teams of this era is team discipline and the kicking game. Most of the teams don’t even have a kicker that can kick 35 to 40 yard field goals consistently and the punters are not that good. This makes a huge difference in the playoffs, thats one of the reasons SWD was able to make the championship game in 90′ they had 2 strong kickers on that team.
South Dekalb Y still hasna soccer program need to recruit kickers and real kicking coaches.

dekalbFB1

March 3rd, 2013
7:03 pm

Good luck to Coach Allen, you have a great returning team. MLK had 100 players and graduated only 28-30 seniors. Coach Allen just speak to the old staff and look at the schemes Newton/MLK then look at talent. Then put in YOUR scheme and find coaches that have a sound background. With injuries to some of our starters, jv players, and 9th graders teams. We are here to support you! Just remember the goals (Scholarships and Championships!!!

MIGHTY LION KING

March 3rd, 2013
8:42 pm

WOW….hmmm…this will be an interesting transition for MLK..Yes they are “passing deadly” but putting the I- formation into play would actually increase MLK running game if done correctly..Hopefully this makes them a MORE BALANCED team than just a well known PASSING team(more predictable)… Although im not sure if bringin coaches from a team we are use to beating is a good suggestion.. In my opinion couldve just stuck with FREEMAN as headcoach, however these coaches know alittle somethin bout MLK being that one use to coach for em..Hopefully they keep up the undefeated tradition that MLK has thru-out the season..THIS IS A HOPE DIFFERENT LEAGUE FROM RAM COUNTRY FELLAS..

WELCOME MR.ALLEN N OTHERS TO THE LION NATION!!!!

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!

MIGHTY LION KING

March 3rd, 2013
8:44 pm

-WHOLE DIFFERENT LEAGUE I MEANT

AJC FAN

March 4th, 2013
1:50 pm

Good Luck Coach Allen and Coach Richey. You guys well deserve it. Represent that Dekalb County!!

rwdekalb

March 4th, 2013
3:24 pm

@Real Dekalb VET. I agree. A stronger kicking game combined with team discipline would get a few good dekalb teams over the hump and a title. The teams are already good but these intangibles would really make a difference.

@dekalbFB1

March 4th, 2013
3:55 pm

To those parents that are panicking about the possiblities of a NEW offense. The college scouts will continue to come. Because of the track record of the previous talent there. The new offense will help showcase other players (i.e. OL,TE,RB) please if your son is a WR; they will show their talent in 7 on 7 camps. Once the run game is on, then the defense will HAVE to respect both. Also it will allow our defense to rest sometimes……

Overheard

March 5th, 2013
8:46 am

this guy got hired because who he knows not what he knows. Typical dekalb school board politics. Let the next controversey begin ! He better win and keep the drama out. good luck coach.

MaMa

March 5th, 2013
9:02 am

I Love you all MLK hope you have a wonderfull year,and God Bless all of you.

WOW!

March 5th, 2013
9:34 am

Dr. Pringle will be in the news soon!! How do you keep the Athletic Director of the school out of the hiring process for a head coach. The same BS that DeKalb is in the news for is still prevelant.

WOW!

March 5th, 2013
9:38 am

@dekalbFB1 so if your son is a WR their talent will only be showcased in 7 on 7 camps? So essentially what you are saying is that they will be null and void for the season….

do-wop

March 5th, 2013
11:45 am

Enter your comments here

do-wop

March 5th, 2013
12:31 pm

Im not sold at all on the OC move. 30/35 its a game is much higher than average. What has Newton averaged?. Dekalb sucks. Athletics are the only saving grace.

@dekalbFB1

March 5th, 2013
12:54 pm

@WOW! – did you read my comment? I said that the 7 on 7 will showcase most of the talent of our passing game. College coaches will continue to come to MLK because of their past/present level of talent. Again if your son was a talented WR his light will shine (i.e. Bay-Bay Thomas)!!!!!

ESPN24/7

March 5th, 2013
8:45 pm

MLk yall better pray about this new coaching staff..i be hearing this coaches are no good…i no these coaches are no good,hopefully yall make it to the playoffs with this coaching staff

human resoures

March 5th, 2013
9:30 pm

can some body please expain whats going on at mlk with the offense and the coaches HELP!!!!!!!

do-wop

March 6th, 2013
9:31 am

I apologize for the rush. I applaud ur loyalty Allen in keeping your OC.But to allow a higher than quality OC, Athlete magnet, like Evans thats questionable. Love Allen move as head, athletes escaping on backside.