From One Championship Staff To Another — Princeton Hires Jamel Mutunga To Coach Running Backs
Jamel Mutunga, who helped guide Lehigh to the sixth-ranked total offense in the FCS last season, has been named the new running backs coach at Princeton, it was announced by head coach Bob Surace. Mutunga spent his last three seasons at Lehigh, including a dynamic run to the 2016 Patriot League championship.
Now Mutunga will join the reigning Ivy League champion.
“I’m extremely excited for the opportunity Coach Bob Surace and his staff have given me to take the running backs here at Princeton to the next level,” Mutunga said. “It’s a great responsibility and I’m eager to get these guys cranked up playing fast, physical, and with swagger. The success and tradition of this offense is something I’m excited to be a part of, and I’m ready to help this group thrive.”
Mutunga has had plenty of coaching success over the last five years, which started with two at Muhlenberg College as the tight ends and halfbacks coach. Over his three years at Lehigh, he helped develop Dominick Bragalone into one of the most feared rushers in the FCS. After gaining more than 1,000 yards on the ground his freshman season, Bragalone rushed for nearly 100 yards per game (1,171 yards for the season) during Lehigh’s Patriot League championship season. A two-time first-team All-Patriot League honoree, Bragalone was named the 2015 Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
Surace didn’t need to check the numbers to know how efficient the Lehigh ground game was — he saw it up close. Over the last two seasons, Lehigh averaged 177.5 rushing yards per game against Princeton. Last year, Lehigh ran for 157 yards against a Princeton defense that averaged only 80.1 rushing yards allowed for the season. Bragalone rushed for 124 yards in that game; no other opposing runner would gain more than 90 the rest of the season.
“We’re excited to add Jamel to our coaching staff,” Surace said. “He was an outstanding running back at Gettysburg, and he followed that up with a terrific coaching job at Lehigh. We saw first-hand how tough and explosive his runners were, and we look forward to adding him to our offensive group.”
Mutunga will take over for Sean Gleeson, who was named offensive coordinator after James Perry took over as head coach at Bryant.
Mutunga starred at Gettysburg College, where he was a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at running back from 2007-09. He had 2,804 career rushing yards and earned All-Centennial Conference honors three times. Mutunga tied a Centennial Conference record with five rushing touchdowns in one game and finished his career third on the Gettysburg all-time list with 38 touchdowns.
A native of Bel Air, Maryland, Mutunga graduated from Gettysburg in 2011 with Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Economics.