LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – When Mark Stoops hired former Kentucky wide receiver Neal Brown as offensive coordinator, it delighted Wildcat fans who were hungry for an exciting offense. The hiring also reconnected UK football to a name from the past – a man who has had a profound effect on college football.
Brown’s name was one of a handful that popped up during coaching searches across the country. Tony Franklin, Sonny Dykes, Kliff Kingsbury, Dana Holgorson and Chris Hatcher were among others. It seemed they all were linked to Mike Leach, who took Texas Tech to 10 bowl games in 10 years. But every one of those coaches can be traced back to former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme.
“I’m proud of those guys,” Mumme told WKYT’s Dick Gabriel. "I’m proud people like what we do, glad people are doing it. It’s fun for the kids.”
Brown says the offense he’ll run at Kentucky is the same when he played for Mumme.
“The base plays, when coach Mumme was here, they’re the same they’re running at West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma,” Brown said. “They haven’t changed since ’97, when coach Mumme brought them to college football.”
When the Wildcats were winning under Mumme, Big Blue fans loved the Air Raid offense, and so did the players – in large part because it’s an easy offense to learn.
“It’s a simple system. The first three days of spring practice, we’ll install the whole system,” Brown said. “Quarterbacks can learn it in 2-3 weeks.”
“If you do anything seven times, you’ll remember it,” Mumme said of the repetitious nature of practices. “It’s like shooting free throws. If you practice, you’ll be a great free throw shooting team.”
Mumme’s quarterbacks put up big numbers playing in the Air Raid offense. Tim Couch became an All-American and the first pick in the NFL Draft.
Mumme now is the head coach at Division II McMurry University. The War Hawks were winless before Mumme arrived, but now, they’re winning playoff games.
“I’m glad they’re (Kentucky) going back to it,” Mumme said. “It’ll be fun to watch. They’ll need to get the air raid sirens out again.”