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Allison looks to improve things at Chatty
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    No doubt it’s been a rough road for the Chattanooga Mocs, who’ve only had one winning season in the last decade — a 6-5 mark in 2005. You have to go back even further to find the last time the Mocs had a winning record in Southern Conference play, a 4-3 finish in 1991. In total, the program’s won just five games over the past two seasons.         But luckily for Rodney Allison, the Mocs’ coach since 2003, his new boss is understanding. UTC athletic director Rick Hart came to Chattanooga in 2006, and after two losing seasons he visited every school in the league to gauge their facilities.
    “The last game of the year last year we are getting ready to play App and everybody is wondering about my job situation,” Allison said. “(Hart) comes out and says, ‘Until he gets close to what everybody else in this conference has, I’m not going to put expectations up (high) because it’s not realistic.’
    “Everybody thinks that because they built Finley Stadium (in 1997), arguably one of the best (FCS) stadiums in the country, that all of the problems had been solved. But what does your lockerroom look like that you dress in every single day? You can’t take a shower in there. Our weight room is 2,500 square feet for 350 athletes. Those kind of things are not up to Georgia Southern, Furman and Wofford. Our AD saw what our deficiencies were.”
    As for the immediate future, Allison said if he didn’t feel comfortable he’d be at UTC for the next four or five years, he would have take a job elsewhere. He believes there’s an honorable, trustworthy agreement in place.
    “There are a certain number of wins, that I’m not going to say, that I think is very reasonable and attainable, for me to continue to be here,” said Allison, a former Texas Tech quarterback whose coaching resume includes stints at Auburn and Clemson.
    If Allison reaches that win expectation in the middle of the season, a new contract might be worked out during the year, said Allison, whose son is a redshirt freshman quarterback at Chattanooga.
Climbing up the respect ladder
    After joining the league in 2003, Elon spent a few seasons as the SoCon’s favorite punching bag. Those days appear to be over for the Phoenix, who SoCon coaches and media predicted would finish second in the conference this season. Third-year Elon coach Pete Lembo said the recognition is satisfying, but the team’s keeping it all in perspective.
    “I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you we’re ahead of schedule,” said Lembo, the reigning SoCon coach of the year. “I’ve tried very hard not to talk about the recent past because we know it was