By LARRY VAUGHT
Jared Lorenzen played for three coaches at Kentucky — Hal Mumme, Guy Morriss and Rich Brooks — but the one he still considers most like a “father” is Mumme.
Lorenzen says that both himself and former UK quarterback Tim Couch, a No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft after playing for Mumme, agree that their former coach is the “most under appreciated person in Kentucky football history because of what he did.”
Mumme brought a pass-oriented, fast-paced offense to Kentucky that attracted playmakers at all positions, created enough fan enthusiasm to expand Commonwealth Stadium and got Kentucky to the Outback Bowl. However, he had to resign in early 2001 because of an NCAA investigation. He was not found guilty of and direct wrongdoing and has had a variety of jobs since then. Currently he’s getting ready to start his first year as coach at Bellhaven College of the Mid-South Conference.
“We brought up to him about being under appreciated (on Kentucky Sports Radio) and he said it was (former UK athletics director) C.M. Newton who took a chance on him (at Valdosta State) and brought him to Kentucky.”
Mumme named Lorenzen the starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman over incumbent Dusty Bonner, a move that led Bonner to transfer. Lorenzen went on to break Couch’s records for total offense (10,637 yards), passing yards (10,354) and passing touchdowns (78).
“I still talk to him a lot,” Lorenzen said. “Hal doesn’t get enough credit for this offense. Take a look at the offense he had and it’s now run nationwide. It was great that C.M. Newton took a shot on him about 20 years ago, but look how well he turned out. You can call it the Mike Leach offense, Air Raid offense or Neal Brown offense, but it is the Mumme offense. I just wish he got more credit for it.
“We were talking to him about if you have a quarterback, you have an offense. Now we have the offense at Kentucky and it is amped up with the running game like we have not had before on one team. But Hal still needs more credit for what he did at Kentucky when no one thought he could do it. He deserves more. He’s really a good guy, something not everyone understands. I am glad to see his name surface more now with this offense, but it should surface more.”
Lorenzen does have one regret.
“I would have loved being in meetings last year with (SMU coach) June Jones and (SMU offensive coordinator) Hal Mumme taking offense. That would have been something,” Lorenzen said.