What I’ve Been Reading: The Perfect Pass

What I’ve Been Reading: The Perfect Pass

July 12, 2018

Not many books make me want to spring into action, but reading The Perfect Pass by S.C. Gwynne made me immediately want to start watching some videos, doing some research, and drawing up plays. That’s because it concentrates on the development of the forward pass in football, but in particular the Air Raid offense, which was originated by Hal Mumme. Mumme had some influences (LaVell Edwards at BYU, Bill Walsh of the 49ers, etc.), but he synthesized a lot of different passing concepts into what has proliferated across college football. Even though Mumme couldn’t keep his own success going, Mike Leach (currently at Washington State) coached with Mumme and a lot of successful teams (Oklahoma, West Virginia, the New England Patriots, etc.) run Air Raid concepts.

Hal Mumme is such a strange case study. I knew of him back when he was coaching at Kentucky, but even his record-setting offenses didn’t win a ton of games. Despite his influence on the game of football and allusions to his system constantly, he has faded into obscurity. Even after reading a book about him, I don’t really know what the guy looks like (I’m about to Google it). But based on some of the things I read, I’m interested to tweak some of our concepts and practice techniques, because they make a lot of sense.

I also recommend:

  • Swing Your Sword by Bruce Feldman and Mike Leach: This is a great resource on Leach, though it concentrates heavily on the troubles he encountered at Texas Tech.
  • Talking Football podcast with Coach McKie: I’ll be honest that I find Coach McKie to be a little bit annoying, but I like the subject of his discussions. He’s a high school offensive coordinator who loves and runs the Air Raid, but he talks to a lot of different coaches about various offensive (and some defensive) philosophies.


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1170
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Jul 12, 2018 at 6:57 AM

    Hal Mumme primer.


    He looks like Ted Danson wearing his favorite rug crossed with Bobby Morse. They love him in Texas.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1234
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      Jul 12, 2018 at 9:06 AM

      Great article, THANKS

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2951
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jul 12, 2018 at 2:45 PM

      Those pictures were…interesting. He and Mike Leach are two peas in a pod, not like your average football coaches. I like that.

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