Two New Assistant Coaches Join Football Team

Montell Allen and Max Andrews bring experience, confidence, and positivity to the Maroons’ coaching staff.

By Austin Zeglis, Senior Sports Reporter

On February 16, University of Chicago Head Football Coach Todd Gilchrist Jr. announced the hiring of Montell Allen and Max Andrews as assistant coaches for the Maroons’ football coaching staff. Andrews will become the Maroons’ offensive line coach, while Allen will be the team’s defensive coordinator and linebackers’ coach. 

The two new coaches bring a wealth of experience along with an infectious positive attitude to the athletics department. The Maroon talked to both Andrews and Allen about their backgrounds and what their expectations are for the team next season. 

Montell Allen comes to Chicago after four years as defensive line coach at Lehigh University. During his tenure, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ defense ranked second in the Patriot League in points allowed per game for two years straight. As a player, Allen was a linebacker for three years at the University of San Diego before switching to the offensive side of the ball and playing running back during his senior year. 

“I’m really looking forward to instilling a family atmosphere here,” Allen said. “At the end of the day, you’ll always want to do more and go the extra mile for the people that you love. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to get to know these young men and help them grow along the way.” 

Max Andrews joins the Maroons’ staff after serving as assistant offensive line coach and quality control coach at the University of Maine, his alma mater, last year. As a collegiate athlete, Andrews played five years for the Maine Black Bears as a tight end and offensive lineman. 

“One thing that we prided ourselves on at Maine was development,” Andrews said. “Maine has a history of taking players who were under-recruited or undervalued and developing them to be super successful guys.” 

He mentioned Pat Ricard, a defensive lineman for the Black Bears from 2013 to 2016, as an example of an undervalued prospect that Maine took in and developed. Ricard now plays fullback for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL. 

“I want to contribute to that same philosophy of bringing guys in who may be overlooked or may not have the biggest measurables and developing them so that a couple years down the road, they’re getting playing time and even starting,” Andrews said. 

UChicago’s most recent conference championship came in 2014, after the team went undefeated in University Athletic Association (UAA) play en route to an 8–1 overall record. It was their fifth championship since the conference’s inception in 1986. 

In 2016, the football squad left the UAA and began competing in the Midwest Conference (MWC), which comprises eight schools in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. Since the switch, the Maroons have yet to win a conference championship. 

“It’s hard to look too far into the future,” Andrews said about his aims for this upcoming season. “For me, our goal from an offensive line standpoint is to go 1–0 every week, every day, and every practice. And I think once we get that mentality, those 1–0 days will lead to winning on Saturdays.” 

“Winning is habitual,” Allen said, “and I want to make sure our guys understand that everything is important. The way they brush their teeth is important; the way their attitude is when they show up at practice is important. The big goal for me is to hammer in that culture and that mindset throughout the spring, so that when we roll into the season next year, those things are embedded.” 

Andrews and Allen encouraged the student body to come watch as many games as they can this fall. 

“Football may not be your thing,” Allen said. “But you don’t know that you don’t like it if you don’t get exposed to it in that atmosphere around your peers and classmates. Our student athletes are just as important and just as driven as any other student on this campus, and I think there’s a lot of students on campus who would surprisingly enjoy the atmosphere of a football game on a beautiful fall afternoon.” 

“We definitely want to get the student population involved more,” Andrews said. “The crowd really gets you going. Having a home field advantage is something that the players really pride themselves on, and they really appreciate it a lot, so any support that the students, faculty, and other fans give us is super awesome.” 

The Maroons open their 2023 season with a home game on Saturday, September 2, against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Stags of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.