Florida Gators Hire Mississippi State's Dan Mullen As New Head Coach

Sheri Evans
November 28, 2017

The Bulldogs lost their ninth-year head coach Sunday afternoon as he returned to the University of Florida to lead the Gators' program after serving as offensive coordinator there under Urban Meyer 2005-08 prior to his arrival at MSU. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because Mullen has not told his team. Mullen is expected to address players in Starkville, Miss., before the hire becomes official. Mullen and Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin, who was hired to replace Jeremy Foley, have a strong working relationship as Stricklin was Mississippi State's AD from 2010-16.

Mullen had a deal at Mississippi State that ran through 2021 and paid him $4.5 million a year.

Dan Mullen arrived in Gainesville wearing his national championship ring from 2008, when he was Gators' offensive coordinator.

Some might be concerned about whether Mullen has the ideal personality to bring genuine buzz to Florida football, but should Gator fans really care as long as he fixes the offense?

Stricklin vowed to make Florida fun again when he parted ways with coach Jim McElwain last month.

He made the safe choice, one that won't be wildly popular with the Florida faithful.

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"I strongly believe Dan is the most prepared candidate to have immediate and long-term success at the University of Florida", Stricklin said. When the Bulldogs receive a bowl invitation next week, it will be their eighth under Mullen. He is 5-2 in bowls.

Mullen is best known for developing quarterbacks. Under Meyer at Utah, Mullen was responsible for the evolution of eventual number one pick, Alex Smith.

Graham energized Arizona State's program when he left after one season at Pittsburgh in 2012. "Coach Mullen will do a tremendous job".

Arizona State went 17-19 the last three seasons, missing the postseason in 2016.

Mullen had followed Meyer from Utah, where he helped mold Smith into the 2005 National Football League draft's No. 1 overall pick, to Florida.

The Volunteers are seeking a new coach after the November 12 firing of Butch Jones, who went 34-27 and 14-24 in the Southeastern Conference in five seasons.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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