Phog Allen Papers

Photo of Phog Allen with graphic of his signature "Cordially yours, Forrest C Allen"

Forrest "Phog" Claire Allen coached basketball at KU from 1919 until his retirement in 1956. During those 37 years, much happened in the world of basketball and at the university. As these records document, Phog Allen was influential in the establishment of the NCAA national tournament and the introduction of basketball at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Topics in the Phog Allen Papers include, but are not limited to, basketball conferences and tournaments; coaching schools; committees with which Allen worked; interactions with other offices, colleges, and schools at KU; the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA); physical education curriculum; how World War II affected KU; recruitment for KU Athletics; and correspondence with and regarding notable athletes. The records are organized alphabetically by topic and by correspondent's family name.

More than 60,000 page images are available to browse. A complete description of the records can be found in the collection's finding aid.

The digitization of these materials was made possible through generous support, enabling us to be proactive in preserving our valuable collection of Phog Allen papers. This digital archive of historic materials extends the legacy of basketball at the University of Kansas, ensuring these important materials are available for generations to come.

Highlighted Materials

1939 NCAA Tournament letter

Letter Dr. F. H. Ewerhardt, NCAA Vice-President, to Gwinn Henry, KU Athletic Director, regarding the 1938-1939 National Basketball Association Tournament. December 12, 1938.

Image of 1939 NCAA Tournament letter

1940 NCAA Tournament Program

National Intercollegiate Basketball Championship Tournament Program Cover, March 1940. This was the first year of what is now the NCAA Tournament. Phog Allen played a key role in the development of the tournament.

1940 NCAA Tournament Program

Letter from Bob Dole, 1938

Letter from future Senator Bob Dole to Phog Allen, 1938. There are several letters between the two men regarding the recruitment of Dole for the KU basketball team.

Letter from Bob Dole

Basketball backboard practice shooting diagram

Plans for a practice backboard showing shooting diagrams by the Fed Medart Manufacturing Company, April 6, 1939. The backboard was developed by Phog Allen.

Basketball backboard practice shooting diagram

Goal-Hi brochure

Goal-Hi brochure, 1940/1941. Goal-Hi is an outdoor game invented by Phog Allen. While it has virtually disappeared from parks and school yards today, it was extremely popular at Civilian Conservation Camps.

Goal-Hi brochure

Related Material

Records from Phog Allen's time as the athletic director at the University of Kansas can be found at RG 66/11/4, see the Guide to the Phog Allen Papers in the Athletic Department Records.

Digitized photographs of Phog Allen are available in the University Archives photos collection.

Consult library staff regarding the availability of related photographs, biographical files, and scrapbooks.