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Book Review: S. C. Gwynne’s “The Perfect Pass”

SCGwynne

Jan 10, 2017

The story of Hal Mumme and how he invented the “Air Raid” offense. Excellent writing, excellent choice.
by Jon Johnston Dec 20, 2016, 1:58pm CST

S.C. Gwynne’s “The Perfect Pass” is the story of Hal Mumme, his coaching career, and how he invented the “Air Raid” offense. Mumme is part coach, part salesman, and part con man (in a fun way) as Gwynne guides us through Mumme’s journey, as he takes what then would have been a radical approach to offense, that being a past first approach in a day in which most others thought that throwing the ball was comparable to committing mortal sin.

From 1982 to 1985 Mumme was an offensive coordinator at UTEP. He wanted to run a pass first offense but at that time but such a thing didn’t exist. He tried to watch other teams such as the San Francisco 49ers under Bill Walsh and tried to study LaVell Edwards schemes at BYU, but he was limited in what he could do at the time because he didn't have the connections.

As Mumme moves through coaching jobs that included Copperas Cove High School, and Iowa Wesleyan. Mumme teams up with Mike Leach at Iowa Wesleyan, and while Leach goes on to become the more well-known of the pair, it is when the two reach Iowa Wesleyan that the story really takes off. Mumme begins to make connections, and he and Leach take to the road and drive for hours just to meet with coaches such as Lindy Infante (then at Green Bay) and Dennis Erickson (then at Miami, FL). You find yourself wondering why the Green Bay Packers would allow two unknown coaches into their offices, access to their secrets, and accommodate them for several hours, and then you realize that this all happened in a day and age before the Internet, when people made personal connections instead of just sending an email. Now you can easily watch videos online or download coaches books galore.

Ah, the glory of a road trip.

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