Darrel "Mouse" Davis
(born September 6
) is a
veteran high school, college, and professional football
coach. A native of Washington, he grew up in Oregon where he
started his coaching career as a high school football coach.
He helped to popularize the use of the Run & Shoot
Davis was born in Eastern
Washington in Palouse on September 6, 1932. His family later moved
to neighboring Oregon and Davis
Oregon, as his hometown. Mouse gained his
nickname from older brother Don while a freshman shortstop on the
Central High School team in neighboring Monmouth, Oregon.
Despite his 4’10” (1.47 m) stature at the
time, Mouse already excelled at sports. In 1955, he graduated
from the Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon
University) in neighboring Monmouth.
There he played
quarterback and halfback on three straight championship teams from
1952–54 under Coach Bill McArthur. Davis also played basketball and
baseball at the college.
Davis helped make the Run &
offense famous as a coach, revolutionizing football back
in the 1960s and 1970s. In developing his Run & Shoot offense,
Davis espoused the theories of Middletown (Ohio) High School coach
Glenn "Tiger" Ellison, who wrote the book Run & Shoot
Football: Offense of the Future
. Davis utilized the offense in
a coaching career that included 15 years at the high school level
in Oregon, at the college level, and professionally in the NFL,
CFL, USFL, WLAF, and Arena League.
spent 15 seasons coaching high school football in Oregon, culminating
in a 1973 state championship at Hillsboro High
That team went 11-1 and set school marks in
seven team season offensive categories and 15 records overall.
was head coach at Sunset and Milwaukie
high schools in Oregon, building a combined 79-29 record among
those three schools.
Davis then moved on to take the head coaching position at Portland State
University, where he coached from 1975 to 1980.
at Portland State from 1975 to 1980, and at each of his subsequent
stops, he helped popularized the "Run & Shoot" offense.
There he led the PSU football program to a 42-24 record 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
. In 1975, Jones, now the current Southern Methodist
University and former University of Hawai i
threw for a Division II - record 3,518 yards. Davis' next
quarterback, Lomax, set NCAA records of 13,220 yards and 106
touchdowns in 42 games. Under Davis' direction, Portland State set
20 NCAA Division II offensive records in addition to the Vikings
being named the NCAA's all-time point producers in 1980, scoring
541 points in 11 games for 49.2 points per game, along with 434.9
yards passing and 504.3 yards of total offense per game. After
coaching at Portland State, Davis went on to coach at UC Berkeley
The past three seasons, Davis served as an assistant coach for
Jones at Hawai i. The Warriors employed the Run & Shoot offense
and averaged 559.2 yards of total offense, 46.9 points and produced
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). Then in February 2007, he returned to
Portland State to serve as offensive coordinator for new PSU head
coach Jerry Glanville
's staff. He
retired at the age of 76 on June 1, 2009.
Davis was an inaugural member of the Portland State Athletics Hall
of Fame when he was inducted in 1997.
Davis has been head coach of the now-defunct USFL
's Denver Gold
, the WLAF
's New York/New Jersey Knights
the Arena Football League
's San Diego
. He was also an assistant coach with the NFL
's Atlanta Falcons
and Detroit Lions
and with the Toronto Argonauts
in the Canadian Football League
In 1982, Davis joined the Toronto Argonauts as offensive
coordinator and turned the team into a contender instantly with his
pass-happy club. Led by his tandem of QBs Condredge Holloway
(Tennessee) and Joe Barnes (Texas Tech). They finished the regular
season with a record of (9-6-1) Davis' Argos lost in the 70th Grey
Cup in 1982 to the Warren Moon
Edmonton Eskimos to the score of 32-16.
Davis left the Argonauts prior to the 1983 season, however the
team, using the offense he had installed, finished the regular
season with a commanding (12-4) record and did win the 71st Grey
Cup that year over the British Columbia Lions to the score of
18-17. It was their first championship in 31 years.
In 1984, Davis headed back to the USA to take the offensive
coordinator job with the USFL expansion Houston Gamblers. His
quarterback was a rookie from the University of Miami named Jim
Kelly. The "Mouseketeers" offensive unit lit up the USFL in their
first year of existence passing for 5,793 yards and 45 passing
touchdowns - ending their expansion season with a (13-5) record.
The Gamblers' offense became the first team in pro football history
to have two receivers with over 100 receptions in a single season
(Richard Johnson - 115, Ricky Sanders - 101).
In 1985, Davis took his first head coaching job at the professional
level when he took the reins
of the Denver
Gold, bringing his run-and-shoot offense to the Mile High City. He
once again had a tandem of QBs in Vince Evans and Bob Gagliano. The
Gold finished the season with its first playoff berth with an
(11-7) mark but lost in the first round to the Memphis
1991 Davis took the head coaching job of the New York/New Jersey
Knights of the WLAF. The 1991 season had Davis and the Knights go
(5-5) and won the North American East Division. But they bowed out
of the playoffs semifinal to the eventual champion London Monarchs.
The following year saw their record improve to (6-4) and second
place in the division but missed qualifying for the playoffs.