After serving as a graduate assistant with a focus on wide recipients at the University of Utah during the 2018 season, Chad Bumphis hoped his burgeoning coaching career would one day lead him back to Salt Lake City.
Bumphis, Utah’s new broad receiver coach, never thought he would return to the Utes two weeks after taking another job.
On February 17, Bumphis was announced as the new wide receiver coach in Central Michigan, after holding that position for two seasons with Austin Peay. Bumphis had kept in touch with Kyle Whittingham, so when he got the CMU job he let the Utah head coach know, Whittingham congratulated him and told him to stay in touch.
On March 1, Utah confirmed that Guy Holliday was released as Utah’s wide receiver coach, who began that position two weeks before spring practice on March 15. Bumphis, sensing an opportunity, did not wait around.
I reached out to him, reached out to some of the men who were offensive, just to see what he was looking for, if they had any idea which direction it would go, Bumphis said Monday morning during a Zoom call. It worked. That Thursday (March 4) I interviewed and Saturday morning I was on a plane, so it worked exactly the way I actually wanted it to.
Two days after Bumphis boarded the plane, he was introduced as Utah’s wide receiver coach, and for a few reasons the appointment makes sense.
For starters, Whittingham noted on Monday that there was a time crisis to recruit someone in time for spring training, which entered its second week on Monday. With little time to work with, Bumphis checked boxes. He’s already familiar with the program, but more importantly, he knows some in the wide receiver room, including redshirt junior Britain Covey and junior Solomon Enis.
Before Bumphis was hired, Whittingham went to Covey and Enis, among other position group veterans familiar with Bumphis, and asked what they thought. Both players agreed with Whittinghams’ thinking.
When Coach Whitt asked us about him, we all gave him the highest recommendation, Covey said. It was nice to have someone you know, while also having a fresh, new face that brings fire into the room. We really respect him, partly because we are going to watch his highlights. He has walked the walk and he is very practical.
Enis added: you always want to see the guys you’ve met before and been coached by before. Coach Bump is such a great guy and he had success in other places so why not bring him back? He already knows people here, and you know guys will like him because you’ve already been coached by him. I was excited when he got the job.
Covey’s claim that Bumphis walked the walk is directly related to his playing career. Bumphis, 31, led Mississippi State by hosting three times in four seasons, and earned All-SEC honors as a senior in 2012. In addition to college, Bumphis spent two seasons on the practice teams of the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars before he went on board. a coaching career that starts in 2016.
The life of a position coach on a college football is chaotic, but the past six weeks have been especially so for Bumphis, who has worked at three different schools during that time, Austin Peay, Central Michigan and Utah. The upside to Bumphis is that his wife is on board with the chaos, which is no surprise given her background.
Nataly Bumphis is the daughter of Oregon Special Teams / Tight End Coach Bobby Williams. The head coach at Michigan State from 1999-2002, Williams has worked at seven different colleges, plus three seasons with two different NFL teams and a year at St. Thomas Aquinas National High School.
Yes, Nataly Bumphis understands the grind of a football coach, including the need to move, sometimes on a whim. Chad Bumphis noted that his wife is currently still in Nashville getting ready to move to Utah, which means hiring and leaving the CMU was so quick that she never even made it to Michigan.
It’s been wild, it’s been a wild ride, and you don’t expect it, said Chad Bumphis. I was in Michigan thinking I’d be there for a while, and bam, this opportunity presented itself and I jumped on it.