Fightin’ Words: Hal Mumme Lays Into Craig James

The football coach at Abilene’s McMurry University, and pal to Mike Leach, had a few less-than-Christian words for Craig James and his son, Adam.
Mon December 5, 2011 9:49 pm
Screenshot | McMurry Sports

After being out of the game for two years, Mike Leach was hired as the new head coach at Washington State University last week. But it’s gonna be a while before the media forgets his controversial end at Texas Tech.

For a profile of Leach (for which he was not interviewed), the Seattle Times'  Bud Withers reached out to McMurry University head coach Hal Mumme, the offensive passing guru who had Leach on his staff at Iowa Wesleyan, Valdosta State, and the University of Kentucky.

Mumme, a Texas native who began his coaching career at Texas high schools in the late seventies and eighties, is in his fourth season at McMurry, a United Methodist institution “shaped by the Christian faith.”

After talking football for a while, Mumme gave his take on Leach’s alleged mistreatment of receiver Adam James, the son of former SMU star and ESPN commentator Craig James.

Mumme, asked about the saga, says, “Craig James is an (expletive), and everybody in Texas knows it. His son’s an (expletive), and you can quote me. I was at New Mexico State, and we turned (Adam) down. Nobody would give that guy a scholarship except Mike Leach.

“I promise you, most people in Texas know the true story.”

Mumme, who led McMurry to a 9-3 record and its first-ever Division III playoff berth this season, has not been without controversy himself—he and New Mexico State University were co-defendants in a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by four Muslim football players in 2006. (It was settled in 2007, with no admission of wrongdoing by Mumme or the school.)

On Twitter, Red Raider Sports managing editor and Lubbock sports radio co-host Aaron Dickens found Mumme’s professionalism to be lacking.

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Tech did not comment to Withers, citing Leach’s ongoing lawsuit against the university, ESPN, and Craig James.

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