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Coaching Legend Mouse Davis Retires From Portland State
Although not totally unexpected, the Portland State football program suffered a blow today when offensive coordinator Mouse Davis stepped down from his position, ending a long-time affiliation with Head Coach Jerry Glanville and the Viking program.
Davis, who has spent 50+ years in the football coaching ranks, created his legend at Portland State in the late 1970s with the Run-and-Shoot offense and his famous quarterbacks, June Jones and Neil Lomax.
“Mouse has decided to leave and its kind of different with me and Mouse,” said Glanville. “Forget about the football, I’ve been with Mouse the last four years more than anybody on the face of the earth, except my wife. Nobody knows what we have been doing, so its tough. The thing we want to do is stress everything he has done for us and for Portland State.
“Fortunately - I told my wife this - neither one of us has died, so I can still pick up the phone and find him. I have enjoyed more dinners, more jokes and enjoyed life more with him than any other person on the face of the earth other than my wife. We can’t thank him enough for what he has done. Nobody can. It’s impossible.
“The good news is he’s got people coached up, and they will continue to play good because of him. Any success we have in the future will be a big part of what he has done while he was here. The bad news is we will miss him. Do we replace him? It’s impossible. God bless Mouse.”
Glanville will begin a search immediately for a new offensive coordinator. He will look at inside candidates as well as those outside the Portland State program. He hopes to have someone in place as quickly as possible to prepare for the opening of camp on Aug. 10.
Glanville is not certain if the departure of Davis will have much affect on the offense the Vikings run.
“I’ve never coached anywhere that we didn’t run Mouse’s passing game. Anywhere I coach, he will still be a big influence on what we do.”
Said Davis: “The first thing is to make sure at this time that the offensive kids are doing what they need to do to get better. We just met with the quarterbacks to try to clean up some things from spring, talking about technique things and all that. We want them to move on the best way possible. We have 10 out of 11 (starters) coming back. So, we should have a very good offensive team.
“There were hopes that we would get things turned around. I am disappointed that we haven’t done that. But I think we are best positioned at this time. I wish the kids all the success. They have worked hard at improving. I think we will have the best year that we’ve had certainly (since arriving in 2007) this next year.”
Davis, 76, did not completely rule out coaching again. But, for the time being, he plans on spending time with his wife Mary Lou (whom he married last December) and playing golf this summer.
“Of everything Mouse has ever done, he outdid himself with Mary Lou. That surpasses all the passing records,” said Glanville.
*LOOKING BACK AT A LEGENDARY CAREER* Darrel “Mouse” Davis was named the Portland State Vikings’ offensive coordinator in March 2007 right after Jerry Glanville arrived as head coach. Davis joined his good friend and coaching compatriot at PSU after working with him at Hawai’i during the 2005-06 seasons.
Davis, a former Viking Head Coach from 1975 to 1980, brought back his unique brand of offensive football to the place he made it famous: Portland State University.
Despite nearly three decades since last employing the Run-and-Shoot offense at Portland State, Davis proved it could be as effective as ever. The Vikings led the nation in passing offense each of the last two years, averaging 360.9 yards per game in 2007 and 372.2 yards in 2008. PSU also ranked 17th in total offense (423.0 yards) and 28th in scoring (30.7 points per game) in 2007, 21st in total offense (401.4) and 55th in scoring (25.8) in 2008.
The Vikings have thrown 48 touchdown passes and had their quarterbacks earn Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors five times over the past two seasons. Included in that total is three honors by returning junior Drew Hubel, who has also been national player of the week twice.
Davis guided Hubel to one of the great performances of all-time in his first career start as a true freshman (35-56 passing, 485 yards, national-record tying 9 TDs, 0 INTs, and National Player of the Week honors) in 2007. Last season, Hubel threw for a school-record 623 yards and five TDs in a win over nationally-ranked Eastern Washington.
A coaching legend in the state of Oregon and at Portland State, Davis hadn’t slowed a bit after all the years away. He is simply the youngest 76-year old in America, drawing on more than 50 years of coaching experience. His remarkable energy had him in his PSU office at 4:30 a.m. during the season.
*RUN AND SHOOT* Davis will be quick to tell you he is not the man who “invented” the Run-and-Shoot offense, or even wrote the book on it (That was Tiger Ellison). But, Davis is certainly the man who made it famous, revolutionizing football back in the 1970s. At that time, he led a Portland State program that went 42-24 over six seasons, averaged 38 points and nearly 500 yards of offense per game. PSU led the nation in scoring three times. The unique passing game made stars out of Davis’ two main quarterbacks, June Jones and Neil Lomax.
Davis introduced the innovative Run-and-Shoot offense to a mass audience in those days. These days, when you hear “spread offense” just know the origins go back to Davis’ original Run-and-Shoot years at PSU. Davis’ offensive philosophies have affected the game of football at every level and had a significant influence on the pass-first, multiple-receiver modern game.
*AROUND THE FOOTBALL WORLD AND HOME AGAIN* After his previous coaching tenure at Portland State, Davis went on to coach in the Canadian Football League, the now-defunct USFL, the NFL, the WLAF and the Arena Football League. The past three seasons, Davis had been an assistant coach for Jones with the University of Hawai’i. The Warriors employed the Run-and-Shoot to great success, averaging 559.2 yards of total offense, 46.9 points and producing a 10-3 record in 2006. Hawai’i led the nation in passing offense (441.3), total offense, scoring offense and pass efficiency (185.95).
Originally from the northwest, Davis claims Independence, Oregon as his hometown, and he is a 1955 graduate of Western Oregon University (then Oregon College of Education). Davis spent 15 seasons coaching high school football in Oregon, culminating in a 1973 state championship at Hillsboro High School. Davis also was head coach at Sunset and Milwaukie High Schools, building a combined 79-29 record among those three.
Mouse gained his nickname from older brother Don, while a freshman shortstop on the Independence High School team in Monmouth, OR. Despite his 4’10” stature at the time, Mouse already excelled at sports, including baseball, basketball and track.
He played quarterback and halfback on three straight championship teams from 1952-54 under Coach Bill McArthur at OCE (WOU). Davis also played basketball and baseball in college.
In developing his Run-and-Shoot offense, Davis espoused the theories of Middletown (Ohio) High School coach Glenn “Tiger” Ellison, who wrote the book Run-and-Shoot Football: Offense of the Future. Ellison was a mentor during Davis’ tenure at Hillsboro High. Davis avidly read Ellison’s manual, eventually modifying and polishing it into the “Run-and-Shoot” that has terrorized defenses, amassed yardage and scoring records and turned quarterbacks into supermen at every level of football.
In 1975, his quarterback, current UH head coach June Jones, threw for a Division II record 3,518 yards. Davis’ next quarterback, Neil Lomax, set NCAA records of 13,220 yards and 106 touchdowns in 42 games. Under Davis’ direction, Portland State set 20 NCAA Division I-AA offensive records in addition to the Vikings being the NCAA’s all-time point producers in 1980, scoring 541 points in 11 games for an average of 49.2 points per game, along with 434.9 yards passing and 504.3 yards of total offense per game.
Davis was an inaugural member of the Portland State Athletics Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1997.
*MOUSE DAVIS CAREER CHRONOLOGY* Hometown: Independence, OR Alma Mater: Western Oregon, 1955 Playing Experience: Quarterback, Halfback, Cornerback, Western Oregon, 1951-54 Date of Birth: Sept. 6, 1932 Wife: Mary Lou Member: Portland State Athletics Hall of Fame Portland State Head Coaching Record, 1975-80: 42-24
*COACHING EXPERIENCE:* 2007-09, Portland State Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks 2004-06, Hawai`i Special Teams/Running Backs 2003, San Diego Riptide Head Coach 2001-02, Detroit Fury Head Coach 1994-95, Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks 1991-92, New York/New Jersey Knights Head Coach 1988-90, Detroit Lions Offensive Coordinator 1986-88, Arena Football League Director of Football Operations 1985, Denver Gold Head Coach 1984, Houston Gamblers Offensive Coordinator 1982-83, Toronto Argonauts Head Coach 1975-80, Portland State Head Coach 1974, Portland State Offensive Coordinator 1971-73, Hillsboro (OR) HS Head Coach 1965-70, Sunset (Portland, OR) HS Head Coach 1962-64, Milwaukie (OR) HS Head Coach 1959-61, Grant (Portland, OR) HS Assistant Coach 1958, Jefferson (Portland, OR) HS Assistant Coach 1955, Oregon College of Education Defensive Coordinator
By Portland State University Media Relations