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.