JACKSON, Miss.- Belhaven University has announced that former University of Kentucky coach Hal Mumme will be its new head football coach. Mumme comes to Belhaven from Southern Methodist University, where he served as an Assistant Coach and Passing Game Coordinator under SMU Head Coach June Jones in 2013.
“I heard for years Hal Mumme’s reputation as a football genius and innovator,” said Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott. “Then when I got to know him personally, I was amazed at how what we as football fans see on the field is just the tip of the iceberg of this remarkable coach and leader. I am excited for our students, our players, and our alumni, because Belhaven football is going to join the “Air-Raid” and soar, with Hal Mumme coming to be our head coach.”
Under the coaching of Mumme, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert set multiple single game and single season records during the 2013 season. Gilbert racked up 635 yards of total offense against Temple, seventh most in a game in NCAA history. Gilbert also recorded single season school records, second for most total offensive yards (3795), second in passing yards (3528), and first in completions (335). As a team, the Mustangs recorded 5,222 total yards with 4,097 of those yards coming through the air in 2013.
“I want to thank Hal for his work over the past year,” said SMU Coach June Jones. “He is an innovator and a friend. I really enjoyed the time we spent together. We wish him well at Belhaven.”
Mumme not only brings experience as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division I level, but has been a head coach at Division I Kentucky, New Mexico State and Southeastern Louisiana. Mumme was also the head coach at NCAA Division II member Valdosta State, Iowa Wesleyan (NAIA), and most recently McMurry (Division III and now Division II).
Mumme spent four seasons at McMurry and led the program to a 27-16 record, including three consecutive winning seasons. Mumme resurrected a McMurry program that had lost 13 consecutive games and had not had a winning season for eight years prior to his arrival. In 2011, Mumme posted a 9-3 record with the team and secured McMurry’s first postseason victory since 1949 by beating Trinity in the first round of the Division III playoffs.
Mumme began his coaching career in the NAIA at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989 and led the Tigers to the playoffs in 1991. In 1992, he moved on to NCAA Division II Valdosta State and then to Kentucky in the SEC where he coached NFL Draft No. 1 overall pick Tim Couch. In 1998, the Wildcats went 7-5 and played in the Outback Bowl as Mumme became the first coach to take a UK football team to a New Year’s Day bowl game since Bear Bryant in 1951. He is the only coach in the modern era at Kentucky to beat Alabama and numerous college head coaches are part of his coaching tree, including current Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach.
“Everyone who knows football realizes Coach Mumme is bringing excitement and successful experience to our program,” said Belhaven Vice President for Athletics Scott Little. “I’m also thankful for the shared vision we have for developing young men in the arena of Christ-centered higher education and championship athletics. We welcome Hal and June to the Blazer family.”
Mumme was officially introduced as Belhaven’s new football coach at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Belhaven University is a member of the NAIA, Southern States Athletic Conference and Mid-South Conference and sponsors 15 intercollegiate sports.