Fall Sports · Football

Report: Dan Mullen has agreed to deal to become Florida head coach

Florida has found their next head coach. According to college football insider Brett McMurphy Florida has finalized a deal with Dan Mullen for their vacant head coaching position.

Mullen has spent nine years as the head coach at Mississippi State. He sports an overall record of 69-46. Mullen has not beaten Alabama in nine attempts as a head coach and has losing records against LSU (2-5) and Auburn (3-6).

Prior to his tenure with the Bulldogs, Mullen was the offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. With Meyer, Mullen won two national championships in Gainesville.

Mullen will be tasked with establishing an offensive identity at Florida and developing a quarterback. Florida has been in a rut offensively since Mullen left for Starkville. Mullen has had success with quarterbacks in the past with Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, and Dak Prescott. All three of which have played in the NFL.

Mullen must prove his recruiting acumen immediately as the early signing period begins December 20th.

Mullen famously referenced Florida as a “lateral move” when former MSU defensive coordinator Geoff Collins moved to Florida with Jim McElwain saying, “I don’t like anybody leaving for what I would view a lateral move, to be perfectly honest.”

Florida faces Mississippi State on September 29, 2018 in Starkville.

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Official statement from the UAA:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin announced that Dan Mullen will be the 27th head coach in Florida football history.

Mullen, who spent the past nine seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach (2009-17), returns to Gainesville where he served four seasons (2005-08) as offensive coordinator and was a major factor in the program winning two Southeastern Conference and BCS National Titles (2006, 2008) during his tenure.

“Megan and I are very excited to get back to Gainesville and the University of Florida,” Head Coach Dan Mullen said. “I have such great memories of the championships we won during our time here and have a love for Florida. We are happy to be coming back to such a supportive administration, staff, student body and fan base, which is the premier football program in the country.

“We will give relentless effort in everything that we do on and off the field. Our commitment will match the passion that the Gator Nation has for this program.”

“I strongly believe Dan is the most prepared candidate to have immediate and long-term success at the University of Florida,” Stricklin said. “Coach Mullen is one of the best offensive minds in all of college football, and has an unbelievable track record in tutoring successful quarterbacks (such as Alex Smith, Chris Leak, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald).

“Coach Mullen will do a tremendous job in developing accountability and toughness through a well-coordinated strength and conditioning program. Dan will work closely with the coaching staff, academic advising staff and administrative team to give every student athlete he coaches the opportunity to grow and excel at a high level athletically, academically and socially.”

“I’m pleased with the approach and process that Scott Stricklin and his staff had in place for this search that landed us the best candidate to move our football program forward nationally,” UF President Dr. W. Kent Fuchs said. “Coach Mullen has a very successful track record at Florida and the SEC, which includes his ability to develop student-athletes on and off the field at the highest level.”

Mullen, 45, was honored in 2014 as the national college football coach of the year by the Maxwell Football Club. He also won honors as the SEC Coach of the Year that season. His tenure with the Bulldogs saw the program ascend to a No. 1 ranking during regular season polls and he oversaw participation in a school-record eight consecutive bowl games.

As the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UF prior to joining MSU in 2009, Mullen worked a Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Award-winning quarterback, along with a Rimington Trophy finalist and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.

Player development has been a key to Mullen’s coaching career successes. Twenty-two Bulldogs have been chosen in the NFL Draft under Mullen since 2010. Dak Prescott became the highest drafted MSU quarterback in modern NFL Draft history, going in the 2016 fourth round to the Dallas Cowboys.

Prescott joined the following QBs tutored by Mullen who were selected in the NFL Draft: Josh Harris (Bowling Green), Omar Jacobs (Bowling Green), Alex Smith (Utah) and Tim Tebow (Florida).

In the last seven NFL Drafts, the Bulldogs have produced seven first- or second-round picks. In the eight drafts prior to Mullen’s arrival, MSU did not have any.

MSU shattered over 100 individual and team single-game, single-season and career statistical records in Mullen’s nine seasons. Meanwhile, the top seven total offensive seasons’ statistical performances in school history have all occurred in the Mullen era.

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