Having the ability to communicate a clear and concise message was one of the primary attributes which impressed Hallsville Athletic Director Cody Farrell in selecting Waco Robinson’s Tommy Allison as the Bobcats’ 28th head football coach.

“Coaching circles a kind of small. You know a lot of people that know a lot of people. The most well-respected mentor I’ve every had, Chris Ross of Lucas Lovejoy, is the one that connected me with Tommy,” Farrell explained. “He told me Tommy was probably the smartest football coach I’d ever have a chance to work with. He’s a great organizer and one of the best communicators I’ve ever been around.”

Hallsville trustees unanimously ratified the decision to hire Allison late Monday evening. He replaces recently-named Grand Saline head coach Joe Drennon, who went 7-23 in three seasons at the Hallsville helm with no playoff appearances.

“I think we’ve got a fantastic man to lead our football program. His character is unbelievably high and right now he’s the perfect hire for us to get the kids fired up and going in the right direction,” said Farrell, who was hired as athletic director only a few short weeks ago.

Allison, 47, is a 1991 graduate of Palestine Westwood and began his coaching career at neighboring Palestine, where he had the opportunity to work with NFL legend Adrian Peterson.

He was offensive coordinator at Palestine in 2003 when the Wildcats dropped a 20-19 decision to the Hallsville Bobcats in bi-district play.

“We’re excited about the opportunity. We’ve loved our time in Waco. This community has been awesome. We’ve been able to raise our kids here,” Allison reflected on his near decade at Robinson. “There’s always a time for change and my wife and are about to be empty-nesters. To have the opportunity to go to a school district like Hallsville, which has an unbelievable reputation, is exciting and step up from 4A.”

Allison, much like his predecessor, sports a state championship on his resume. The 13-year head coaching veteran led the Cayuga Wildcats to the 2009 Class A DII state title.

“This was a great chance for me and my wife to get back to East Texas. I was raised in Palestine, Texas and love the area,” Allison said.

“I was most impressed by the leadership of the school district and just the community overall. The school is the focus of the community. I can’t think of a better place for Friday nights to be special than Hallsville, Texas.”

Allison is 92-60 overall as a head coach with stops in Cayuga, Jacksboro and Waco Robinson. He’s been to postseason eight times in 13 years and won a couple district crowns to go with his state championship.

Accepting the head football coaching title only after having served the past 13 years as an athletic director wasn’t that difficult for Allison.

“I want to come in and build relationships with all stake holders. I just love kids. I want to see them be successful in whatever they do,” Allison explained. “I want to win in football and be able to build a great football program. But I want our kids to be successful in baseball, basketball, softball and track.”

Allison was more than convinced in several meetings with Farrell that a great partnership could be built.

“Once I met met Coach Farrell, all concerns were gone. There’s no doubt Coach Farrell loves the kids and want what’s best for every kid at Hallsville ISD. And that’s exactly what I want,” Allison concluded.