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Air Raid founding father Hal Mumme takes in Washington State-Houston from sideline

Hal Mumme is interviewed by WSU sideline reporter Jessamyn McIntyre during the first half of a college football game on Friday, September 13, 2019, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

HOUSTON – The man who invented the Air Raid offense came out to watch two of his pupils square off Friday night at the Advocare Texas Kickoff game between Washington State and Houston.

Hal Mumme, who designed the spread offense schemes that are now widely used in high school, at the college level and in the National Football League, took in Friday’s matchup the Cougars and the Cougars from the sideline.

WSU and Houston are both coached by offensive gurus who consider Mumme a mentor. WSU’s Mike Leach helped Mumme conceive the Air Raid when he was Mumme’s offensive coordinator at NAIA Iowa Wesleyan, located in Mount Pleastane, and Houston’s Dana Holgorsen was recruited by both men while attending Mount Pleasant High School.

Holgorsen played for Leach and Mumme at Iowa Wesleyan and was hired as an offensive assistant when the two coaches moved on to Valdosta State. Leach eventually brought Holgorsen to Texas Tech with him when the Red Raiders made a head coaching change in 2000.

Mumme was interviewed by ESPN at halftime and roamed WSU’s sideline the first half, wearing neither WSU or Houston colors. The 67-year-old instead went neutral and wore a Nevada Wolf Pack polo shirt, representing the school that employs his son, Matt, as an offensive coordinator.

“The face he worked for both me and Dana, he’s probably trying to scramble for some neutral ground,” Leach said afterward. “And Nevada’s a pretty good alternative to that, I guess. Not red, but blue.”

Leach said Mumme visted his longtime friend at the team hotel the night before the game.

“It was good to see him,” Leach said.

Hal Mumme’s last college job came in 2017, as the head coach at NCAA Division III Belhaven University. This fall, the San Antonio native will serve as the offensive coordinator for the XFL’s Dallas Renegades.