When news first broke several days ago that former Arizona Cardinals running back Stump Mitchell was headed back to the organization as the team’s running backs coach, I was elated. Of course he was a St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinal before they became Arizona. I could hardly contain my excitement. Of course I didn’t want to say anything until it was official. These things have a tendency to fall through. Anyway, to say this is a great addition is an understatement. Mitchell not only has a history with the team, he also has an impressive coaching history as well since his playing days.
Mitchell played for nine seasons – all for the Cardinals organization. He had one 1,000 season in 1985. He retired after the 1989 season and has been coaching off and on since 1992. He last was the head coach at Southern University until 2012. He also was the head coach at Morgan State from 1996-1998.
He has coaching stints as a running backs coach with the Seattle Seahawks (1999-2007) and Washington Redskins (2008-2009). He may be best known locally for being the head coach at Casa Grande High School from 1993-1994. He was hired as an assistant at Morgan State the following year in 1995.
On a personal note, Mitchell is a super-nice guy. I had the chance to meet him during his one and only season as a player in Arizona in 1989. I spent two seasons as a ballboy for the Cardinals and his last season happened to be my first. He always made time to say hello. He is a personable guy who has a track record of coaching good running backs. He was the Seahawks Shaun Alexander’s coach during his MVP season in 2005. Bruce Arians has done well here.