Jennifer Allen grew up the only daughter of a professional football coach (George Allen) who was known for total commitment to his team and sport.
She has three brothers. George is a former Republican United States Senator and former governor of Virginia. Bruce is currently the President of the Washington Redskins, and the former general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg is a clinical psychologist.
Jennifer's mother came from French Tunisia and was of a Jewish background, which would become an issue in her brother's 2006 senatorial re-election campaign in Virginia.
Jennifer is the author of two books, a collection of short stories, Better Get Your Angel On and a memoir, Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter, describing her childhood as a coach’s daughter and also documenting the closeness her family had with the members of the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins that her father coached.
Pat Conroy called Fifth Quarter “the Best book about football I’ve ever read – and Jennifer Allen never played a down in her life.” In The Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley reviewed the book, noting that in writing about her father, she “illuminates his innermost soul and gives us not just a football coach but a human being.”
The memoir contains claims that George held her by her feet over Niagara Falls, struck her boyfriend in the head with a pool cue, threw his brother Bruce through a glass sliding door, tackled his brother Gregory, breaking his collarbone, and dragged Jennifer upstairs by her hair. In the book, she wrote, "George hoped someday to become a dentist...George said he saw dentistry as a perfect profession– getting paid to make people suffer." She also wrote about the closeness that her family had with the members of the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins that her father coached.
In May 2006, Jennifer qualified some of the claims made in the book. With regards to the pool cue incident, she claimed it was a joke and that "Allen was simply testing her boyfriend's reflexes." With regards to the dentist quote, Jennifer claims that the book was a "novelization of the past" and written from the perspective of a young girl "surrounded by older brothers and a larger-than-life father." She claims to have a great relationship with her brother and noted that George walked her down the aisle at her wedding.
She has appeared on the NFL Network and written for the NFL website. In January 2006, Jennifer appeared on the NFL Network to discuss how the firing of a head coach affects the coach's family, basing her commentary on her own experiences when her father was fired. She would later narrate the "Fearsome Foursome (American football)" episode of A Football Life. Jennifer has contributed articles to Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and The New Republic.
Jennifer also written about her experience with yoga in Mantra magazine. She has been teaching yoga in Los Angeles since 2003, focusing specifically on athletes. In 2014, she taught yoga to the #1 NCAA ranked USC Women’s Tennis Team, and has also worked with soccer, lacrosse, baseball, football, and volleyball teams.
She lives with her husband Mark Richard in Los Angeles and has three sons, Roman (after Roman Gabriel), Deacon (after Deacon Jones) and Anton Lamar (after Lamar Lundy).