Stump Mitchell

Baton Rouge, LA — Southern University and A&M College has offered its head football coaching position to Lyvonia “Stump” Mitchell, the Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs coach for the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

All of the terms of his contract are yet to be worked out, as the Washington Redskins still have one regular season game remaining, and he is still under contract with the NFL team.

“Stump Mitchell’s 21 years in the NFL, 10 as a player and 11 years as a assistant coach, combined with his head coaching experience, will bring a wealth of diverse knowledge to our football program”, says Greg LaFleur, Southern’s Director of Athletics. Stump Mitchell joined the Redskins’ coaching staff in 2008, adding a fresh perspective to the Redskins’ talented group of running backs. He arrived at Redskins Park from the Seattle Seahawks, where he had spent the previous nine seasons coaching the running backs. From 2001-07, he coached alongside current Redskins head coach Jim Zorn, who was quarterbacks coach there at the time.

“I am very excited to have Lyvonia “Stump” Mitchell joining the Jaguar Nation as our 17th head football coach. I am confident that he will help us bring the fans back to A.W. Mumford Stadium and that he will help us achieve our goal of strengthening the relationship between SUBR and the community surrounding the campus”, says Dr. Kofi Lomotey, Chancellor of Southern University-Baton Rouge.
“Importantly, at the collegiate and professional levels, Coach Mitchell has demonstrated dedication, hard work and success. Moreover, he has effectively instilled those values in players in his charge on both levels. He has an excellent attitude and positive educational and athletic philosophies. While serving as head football coach at Morgan State University, his focus on academic discipline led to a substantial increase in the overall GPA of the team”, added Lomotey.

“We anticipate Coach Mitchell joining the Jaguar Nation and we have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead our football program. Being a former student athlete, Coach Mitchell understands that our goal is to develop our team to their greatest potential on and off the field,” said Southern University System Interim President Dr. Kassie Freeman. “We are also very proud of the hard work and dedication of our Board Chairman, Chancellor, and Athletic Director during the search process. This is indicative of their commitment to ensuring the success of our athletic programs, along with working collaboratively to make the best decision for our great institution.”

Under Mitchell’s tutelage, running back Clinton Portis had his second-best season as a Redskin, rushing for 1,487 yards and nine touchdowns, and catching 28 passes for an additional 218 yards. His rushing yards and total yards both ranked fourth in the NFL for the year, and when Portis rushed for more than 100 yards, as he did six times, the Redskins lost only one game. Mitchell coached a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his first seven seasons in Seattle (Ricky Watters for two years, Shaun Alexander for five years). Mitchell joined the Seahawks following three years as head coach at Morgan State University. He originally joined the MSU staff in 1995 as offensive coordinator, earning a promotion to head coach the following year. Under Mitchell’s tutelage, the Bears boasted a strong rushing attack that averaged 148.9 yards per game in 1997.

Mitchell’s coaching career began in 1991, when he served as an assistant coach on the World League of American Football’s San Antonio Riders’ staff. He then accepted a position as the head coach at Casa Grande (Ariz.) High School (1991-94), where he led the team to a playoff berth in his second year.

Mitchell played nine years in the NFL as a standout running back with the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals. He was a ninth-round draft choice by the Cardinals in 1981 and would go on to become one of the great running backs and kick returners in Cardinals history.
Mitchell is the Cardinals’ all-time leader in combined yardage with 11,988 yards and ranks second with 4,649 yards rushing on 986 attempts and 32 touchdowns. His 177 kickoff returns for 4,007 yards are both franchise records. He posted 14 100-yard games and finished with a 4.7-yard rushing average, second-best in the franchise history. With a 5.6-yard rushing average as a rookie in 1981, Mitchell earned All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly. In 1984, he earned All-NFC honors as a kickoff returner by Pro Football Weekly. On Nov. 17, 1985, he set a career high with 179 rushing yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Mitchell was honored with the Chuck Drulis Award for community service in 1982 and the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award for charity work in 1984. He was born on March 15, 1959, in Kingsland, Ga.


  1. How can justification be given to hiring a man with an 8-24 Head Coach record – compared to most of the other candidates. When I attended, SU was not – and should not be – a “friendship hiring” University. If he does not win next year, both he and LaFleur must be fired. Most of this article talks about what Mitchell did as a player. His playing days are over – his coaching is what is important. Doug Williams would have been a much better selection.

  2. Doug Williams went 0-5 in his first coaching stint also, then he quit and the same team won its next 5 games. This man wasnt at Texas, he was at Morgan State, they have never won. I dont think he would have the respect of fellow coaches and have risen thru the ranks to the NFL if he was’nt knowledgeable

  3. I have to agree with you “Ralph D. Holly”. The hiring process was a joke from the begining. Doug Williams was the clear “proven” choice. This was a “buddy” hire. What bothers me most is the fact that we got rid of a great coach for this guy. Why didn’t LaFleur give Pete the assistants he needed? Looks like the AD is well on his way to ruining the athletic department due to old school politics. I’m not lhappy with Stump at all.

  4. Pete (the best Coach SU has had other than Mumford) went 11-1 his first year; and he didn’t come from Texas either. He should have been allowed to finish the last year of his contract. SU Football was terrible until he arrived and gave us 17 years of respectability. The LaFluer “buddy-hire” is not representative of the SU I have known.

  5. Stump has a lot to prove and has some big shoes to fill with this buddy hire. If he doesn’t produce there is going to be an ugly scene in Baton Rouge – beginning with Lafluer’s head!

  6. To the Nation: Let’s give Stump a chance. I have read some of his comments and noticed who he has been talking to.The man appears to be headed in the right direction. Sounds like he has a plan. Keeping Dooley is one of the best first moves a new coach could make. Until proven wrong – let’s wait on beating a few people up.

  7. Pete only became a great coach becaused we gave him a chance,don’t forget the doww team he was with and home bad we beat him and yet he became our coach.So let’s be fair and give Stump Mitchell a chance,he might just stump all the teams we are going to play this year.

  8. What happens now if the new Redskins Coach offers Stump a job at double the salary he would make at SU? Wouldn’t that make LaFluer and Clayton look just great!

  9. Just read in The Advocate where SU is having to “wait” before hiring Mitchell so he can honor his contract with the Redskins. Speaking of honoring a contract, why didn’t SU honor Pete’s last year of his contract??? When this first began, LaFluer was talking about the “urgency” of getting a coach on board. What has changed that??? It also seem that LaFluer and some elitist Board Members had problems with Doug because of his GSU conncetion. Just suppose Gram had felt that way in hiring it’s Baseball, Softball and Girls Basketball Coach a few years back. SU needs to get over this BS. All the in-fighting with the President, other Administrators and ex-Board Members is not making the School I love look too good right now. President Clark and Coach Mumford are probably not too happy right now.

  10. Hey “BluNGoldBlood”, just read it. Looks to me like Stump is delaying so that he can check out any offers that might be available in the NFL. The Redskins fired Stump’s head coach on yesterday and hired the new one today. The new coach always brings in his own assistants. So, there’s no need for him to so call “honor a contract”. The administration is starting to look foolish on this one. I just don’t get the feeling that this is an important job to stump. He views Southern as a step down and seemingly just wants the SU position to fall back on. We should have just stayed with coach Pete and given him what the other schools have (an adequate number of assistants). Since we can’t have Pete now, I would think that Doug, Northern, Spears or Asberry would be honored to become the HC of the Jags. Let’s hope Stump doesn’t come. We’ll all be better off taking other options. Also, Lafluer needs to go.

  11. I don’t even know if Stump qualify or not because nothing that I have read states his college degree. Hint……One of the requirement is a college degree to become a college head coach in Louisiana…….Something to check into….

  12. SU Law Dog Coach Mitchell’s contract was not held with Jim Zorn, it was with the Redskins. His meeting with the GM was postponed until later this week, and until then he is still under contrant with the Skins. The new Redskin coach has been announced as well as his assistants and Stump wasn’t listed. As for Pete, you gotta admit that he had not put a quality product on the field for some years now. Pete had enough money that he chose to divy amongst Graves 90,000, Orlando 90,000, and 200,000 for himself. Coach Fraizer had a full compliment of assistants because he wasn’t paying his homeboys that really were the reason Pete got fired an unheard of salary for a FBS assistant. Coach Fraizier only makes 124,000 so that leaves him with enough money hire to more assistants with the difference between his salary and Pete’s. Also Pete paying 180,000 to his two coordinator was enough for 4 coaches. With that said , Pete very easily could have had ten assistants. Put plainly Pete was a decent head coach, but he got himself fired. Our defense has been sorry for years, but since he brought his buddy Graves in with him, he couldn’t get rid of him. Secondly the Offense was garbage, he got rid of Oliver that did some vert good things on offense, and put points in the board after a loss to Valley because he wanted to bring back another buddy, Orlando.
    We cry about the mans record at Morgan State, but face it; Nick Saban and Bobby Bowden combined couldn’t win at Morgan State. Even the great Petes record at Winston Salem wasn’t impressive, he was slightly above .500.
    This man has proven himself to everyone in the NFL ranks that he knows the game. How many of the people that are complaining have acheived what he has. Assistant Head Coah of a NFL team? Give the guy a chance.
    I was a supporter of Northern getting the job, but he didn’t. Let’s see what the man brings to the table before were so harsh to judge. Seems to me that he is barking up some of the right trees.

  13. I agree with everything Bleed Blue And Gold just stated. If this guy was garbage would he have stayed in the NFL so long? We are talking about the NFL. Also, a key word here is “terminated.” I don’t recall seeing that on his resume. Our situation could be much worse. There’s a certain SWAC rival who hired a guy that was terminated from a sorry team that barely beat one of our division competitors. Go figure. The more I read comments from Stump the more I feel better this decision. Let’s give Stump a chance.

    By the way, congrats to those SU engineering students for representing the “U” in China!

  14. Is Spivery one of LaFluer’s “buddies” also? His coaching of The Basketball team is terrible. Let’s just hope Cador maintains the kind of relationship he has with LaFluer.

  15. But back to the subject matter at hand. Does anyone of you know for fact that Stump has reached out and offered a position to Melvin Spears? Has Spears accepted a position at SU yet? I received a note from a colleague that things were not as bad as perceived in Baton Rouge in regards to Stump.

    We need to have Perryn Keys on speed dial right about now. lol

  16. How can you say that Coach Pete was so great when you have 12 players on academic probation? If he was so great he would have made sure that academics came before football. The majority of the players will NEVER make it to the league! There’s more to life than football!

  17. Now that it seems the Football Coach situation has been taken care of, what about Basketball. Currently 3 – 15 and just dismissed the leading scorer. Is Spivery also one of Clayton or LaFluer’s buddies???


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