Stump Mitchell, 48, is in his ninth season as a coach in the NFL, all as running backs coach of the Seahawks. That followed four years as coach at Morgan State, the first one as offensive coordinator, the last three as head coach. Prior to that, he was the head coach of Casa Grande High School outside Phoenix, with his first coaching job the San Antonio Rough Riders of the NFL European League in 1991. Mitchell was a running back for nine years with the Cardinals, first in St. Louis, and then Arizona. He still holds the franchise record for combined yardage in a career – 11,988 and is second with 4,649 yards rushing, with 32 touchdowns. A native of Kingsland, Ga., Mitchell won two humanitarian awards as a player – the Chuck Drulis Award in 1984 for community service and Byron "Whizzer" White Humanitarian Award in 1984.
The following 10 questions asked of Stump, always reluctant to talk about himself – but after we got going, he actually seemed to enjoy it!
Do you have a defining moment in football?
My first play in the National Football League was a punt return for a touchdown against the Washington Redskins. I still remember the moment.
What was your defining moment out of football?
The birth of my kids – nothing else compares to that.
Who was your role model?
I can't narrow it down to one person. I model myself after a lot of people – younger than me and older than me. We can all learn from other people. In the area of sport, just watching the way Bobby Engram handles himself and the way Mack Strong handles himself. When you're talking about a role model, it's just someone you respect. As a respect, I really liked (Baltimore Colts running back) Lydell Mitchell, smaller back, tough back). And when I was playing, it was (Cincinnati Bengals running back) James Brooks was one of the better small backs to ever play the game in terms speed and power in a smaller back.
If you weren't a coach in the NFL, what would you be doing?
If I wasn't a coach in the NFL, I'd be coaching on some level or another. Or I'd be a principal at a high school.
What was the last movie you saw?
I went to see American Gangster this past weekend in Cleveland.
What was the last non-football sporting event you attended?
It had to be going to church.
What was the last non-sports TV show you watched?
Man, you're talking to a coach … I like American Idol and I do like all of the CSI shows.
What is your favorite meal?
I like Chinese food – hot braised chicken and shrimp fried rice.
What's your favorite hobby outside of sports?
My hobby is helping people. I really get a job out of helping people – it's a hobby. It doesn't matter age or gender. I have a football camp to better understand the techniques of football. I'm just talking about a way of life. If somebody needs help, you just do it. I'd like to be a role model for other people.
Who are the other three people in your dream golf foursome?
Like everybody else, Tigers Woods. I'd also like to include (former Cardinals teammate) Roy Green, because the character that he is. And Michael Jordan because of the athlete he has always been.