Bumpas Named Defensive Coordinator

Dick Bumpas, co-defensive coordinator at the University of Houston the past four seasons (1999-02), has agreed to become the defensive coordinator at Western Michigan University. The announcement was made today by head coach Gary Darnell.

Bumpas' hiring marks his fourth reunion with Darnell. The two previously worked together at the University of Notre Dame, Tennessee Tech University and Kansas State University.

"Dick is a fine individual who has played and coached at the highest level of championship football across the nation," said Darnell. "He was one of the initial architects of the 4-2-5 defense, which we have used here the past few seasons, and brings a tremendous wealth of experience."

In a coaching career that has spanned 25 years, Bumpas has won championships in three different conferences and coached at all three service academies. He has also taken part in 10 postseason bowl games.

Bumpas, who also served as assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Houston, installed the 4-2-5 defense upon his arrival in 1999. That same year, Houston finished 25th nationally in total defense, 20th against the run and 22nd in scoring defense. In 2001, Bumpas coached Wayne Rogers, the Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Prior to his stint at Houston, Bumpas worked four seasons at the U.S. Naval Academy (1995-98) in the positions of assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. His 1997 Navy unit ranked sixth in total defense and turnover margin. At season's end, he was invited to coach in the Blue-Gray All-Star Game. In 1996, Bumpas' defense held California to just three second half points in an Aloha Bowl victory — the Midshipmen's last postseason win.

The 53-year-old Bumpas also spent three seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Utah State University (1992-94), helping the Aggies to 1993 Big West Championship and a Las Vegas Bowl victory over Ball State.

Other coaching stops for Bumpas have included three seasons as defensive line coach at Notre Dame (1990-92), during which time he mentored 1990 Lombardi Award winner Chris Zorich. In 1989, Bumpas coached the defensive line at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, a team that went on to win a Southwest Conference (SWC) championship and advanced to the 1990 Cotton Bowl.

Bumpas coached seven years in the Volunteer state, splitting time between the University of Tennessee (1985-89) as linebackers coach/special teams coordinator and Tennessee Tech (1983-84) as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. While with the Vols, Bumpas coached three bowl championship teams (1986 Sugar, 1986 Liberty, 1988 Peach) and was part of the 1985 Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship.

Bumpas began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Arkansas during the 1977 campaign. From there, he went to the U.S. Military Academy and implemented a new defense under Homer Smith in 1978. Installing new defenses would become a trend for Bumpas, who did the same thing as defensive line coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy during a two-year tenure with the Falcons (1979-80). Bumpas continued on as defensive line coach at Kansas State from 1981-82, helping make possible the Wildcats' first-ever trip to a bowl game.

A native of Fort Smith, Ark., Bumpas earned three varsity letters and was a captain for the Razorbacks. He was named SWC Defensive Player of the Year in 1970, earning consensus All-American honors at defensive tackle. He received a bachelor's degree in education from Arkansas in 1973.

He went on to play tight end and linebacker professionally for the Memphis Grizzlies of the defunct World Football League (1974-76) and the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League (1974).

Bumpas is married to the former Gloria Surratt.

Coaching Experience

Houston 1999-03 Assistant Head Coach/co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Navy 1995-98 Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
Utah State 1992-94 Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
Notre Dame 1990-92 Defensive Line
Arkansas 1989 Defensive Line
Tennessee 1985-89 Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator
Tennessee Tech 1983-84 Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator
Kansas State 1981-82 Defensive Line
Air Force 1979-80 Defensive Line
Army 1978 Defensive Line
Arkansas 1977 Graduate Assistant

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