It’s been nearly 12 years since Hal Mumme graced the sidelines of a major college football program as the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. Now, Mumme is making a jump back into the world big-time college football, sort of. Mumme will join June Jones‘ staff as the offensive coordinator of the SMU Mustangs. While SMU isn’t a BCS program, this is most certainly a huge step for the former Kentucky head man to make his way back to the “big time”.
Many remember Mumme as the head coach of the Wildcats from 1996-2001. During that time, the Wildcats enjoyed much notoriety, good and bad.
In Mumme’s first season at the helm in ’96, the impact was felt immediately. The Wildcats finished the season at a heavily improved 5-6 while setting a few school, SEC, and NCAA records along the way utilizing the coach’s fast paced, short pass attack. With future first overall draft pick Tim Couch leading the offense, it seemed that the Kentucky program was making huge strides to becoming relevant. Frequent appearances in the Top 25 rankings and a New Year’s Day bowl game were things Kentucky football fans believed they’d never enjoy.
In 2001, we’d come to learn that not all of the Wildcats’ success was enjoyed legally. Mumme would resign early in the year amid NCAA investigations into the program, mainly large payments to recruits. The bubble that was dreams of SEC success on the gridiron for Kentucky was burst and Mumme would be forced to take a brief hiatus from major college football coaching.
Past transgressions aside, the speedy offensive style that the coach brings to the table should be a good fit to June Jones’ efforts of bringing SMU back to national prominence. Although they may not get the same cream of the crop talent that they had back in the mid-80s, there is still much talent in the state of Texas to choose from that fits this scheme perfectly. All things considered however, I would just like to know if I am the only one that see the incredible irony is this hire. I’m sure Craig James approves this.