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IU head football coach backs up team motto by going extra mile for transfer player

IU’s off-field culture bringing on field effort

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — “Love Each Other,” known as LEO, is the motto of IU Football.

Last winter, a player transferring to the program felt that in full force before he was even doing workouts with the team. The actions of head coach Tom Allen off the field are impacting how hard that player is willing to work for him on the field.

“I’d run through a brick wall for him,” said Junior defensive lineman Philip Blidi after practice at Lucas Oil Stadium Friday.

Blidi transferred to IU in January from Texas Tech. He and his family had not even found a place to live yet when his pregnant wife Emma started to have complications with their 2nd child, so they went to the hospital.

“I couldn’t keep my daughter in the hospital and I had to figure out a way to get my daughter to my in-laws,” said Blidi.

While out of state taking his daughter Amara to stay with family, his wife called and said she was going to need an emergency C-section.

“I’m panicking. I don’t know what to do. We’re new to Bloomington. We don’t have no one to be there for us. First person I contact, I contact Coach Allen,” said Blidi.

“I literally had just gotten home from being on the road. I stopped everything I was doing and went right to the hospital, and I was like the first person when she came out of surgery there in the recovery room and I went to go see Brooks, and I was the first one to go see him,” said Tom Allen, head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers football team.

“Why didn’t you hesitate in the moment,” asked News 8 reporter Kody Fisher.

“Well, you know. Do the right thing. He needed me to be there,” said Allen.

“Have you ever experienced that from a head coach before,” asked Fisher.

“I’ve never experienced that before. Ever,” said Blidi.

Allen told News 8 his actions were simply matching the words and culture of the program: “Love Each Other.”

“They’re pretty empty words, pretty shallow. if it’s just a slogan on the wall, Sounds all cool, but when life’s really hard and coach isn’t there for you, then I don’t think it means a whole lot, so it’s when things aren’t easy. That’s when you have a chance to show that it’s real,” said Allen.

“I love that man. When I needed him the most, he was there,” said Blidi.