Former UCLA defensive back Allan Ellis passed away on Wednesday, September 18, in Chicago. He was 62 years of age.
Ellis played for coaches Tommy Prothro and Pepper Rodgers during his time at UCLA. After playing on the freshman team in 1969 and earning the Charles Pike Memorial Award as team captain, he moved up to the varsity the following season. He started all 11 contests in 1970 and was awarded the John F. Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Trophy for Rookie of the Year. Ellis started five games in 1971 and made one interception which he returned for a touchdown against Pittsburgh.
As a senior in 1972, Ellis picked off three passes and was named first-team All-Pacific-8 Conference. The 1972 Bruin squad pulled off one of the great upsets in college football history when it dealt top-ranked, and two-time defending national champion, Nebraska a 20-17 setback in the season-opener, ending the its 32-game winning streak. Ellis was the 1972 winner of the Kenneth S. Washington Award for Outstanding Senior and the Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player in the USC game. He then appeared in the Senior Bowl All-Star Game.
Ellis went on to play seven seasons, 1973-1980, in the NFL with the Chicago Bears after being a fifth-round selection of the team in the 1973 Draft. Appearing in 94 games with 76 starts in seven seasons with the Bears, he recorded 22 interceptions, tied for 11th in team history with Hall of Fame middle linebackers Dick Butkus and Brian Urlacher. Ellis became the first Bears cornerback to be named to the Pro Bowl after the 1977 season, when he had six interceptions. He also totaled six interceptions in the 1976 campaign. Ellis finished his career in 1981 with the San Diego Chargers, appearing in 11 games with six starts.
In recent years, Ellis had coached a youth football team and conducted a number of youth football camps in the Chicago area. Ellis, a Los Angeles native, attended Centennial High School in Compton, Calif. The funeral will be held on Saturday in Chicago.