Dec 2, 2012; Lexington , KY, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops spoke to reporters during a press conference at the Nutter Field House. Image Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Air Raid Success

Hal Mumme may not have been the greatest football coach for the Kentucky Wildcats but his legacy is felt throughout college football and it is being felt once more at Kentucky with Neal Brown coming home.

Hal Mumme is one of the reasons why so many players have thrown 10,000 passing yards and 100 touchdowns in the last 15 seasons according to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today. A lot of this is due to then-Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton taking a chance on the Division 2 coach.
In 1996, few other teams were running such a system. Today, Mumme’s legacy has become the coin of the realm, with four of his disciples commanding salaries of $2 million. Seven current major college head coaches are part of Mumme’s coaching tree – either direct descendants or second-generation offshoots.

The article goes into what the Air Raid system is all about.

Unlike traditional run-based offenses, it relies on throwing the ball from the shotgun formation, spreading the field and distributing the ball among several receivers. Like basketball, it tries to gain an edge through mismatches and creating space for its playmakers.

Its conceptual roots go back several decades, and it has several variations, including those taught by other 1990s coaching stars: Dennis Erickson, Mike Price and Joe Tiller.

The version run by Mumme and Leach is based largely on BYU’s offense under coach LaVell Edwards.

I would expect that Neal Brown will run a similar offense next season as the new offensive coordinator for the Wildcats.

If there is a criticism about the system that they run, it’s that they really have not developed quarterbacks that got drafted by the NFL. Yes, Mumme and Leach both helped Tim Couch become the overall first draft pick in 1999. Couch’s career was derailed more so by injuries than his talent. That being said, “Mumme points out that his and Leach’s teams often recruit quarterbacks overlooked by other colleges – players who don’t fit the NFL prototype for size and speed.”

Interestingly, there are two coaches in the SEC that have worked with the Mumme offense by way of working under current Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher. Florida coach Will Muschamp and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart both worked for Hatcher when he coached at Valdosta State. Because of the familiarity with the Air Raid offense, they were valuable when it came to running the defense for opposing teams.

Time will tell what becomes of the quarterbacks at Kentucky under Mark Stoops and Neal Brown but Kentucky fans are in for some fun.

Tags: Football Kentucky Wildcats

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