Gators hire Dan Mullen as football coach

307
5324
Reports: Florida is closing in on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

By Robbie Andreu and Pat Dooley, Staff writers

In his quest to put the fun back in Florida football, UF athletic director Scott Stricklin has turned to someone he and the school are very familiar with — Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen.

Mullen, who helped lead UF to national titles in 2006 and 2008 as Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator, has been hired as the Gators new head coach, the school announced Sunday night.

Mullen will be formally announced as UF’s 27th football coach at a 3 p.m. news conference Monday.

“Megan and I are very excited to get back to Gainesville and the University of Florida,” Mullen said. “I have such great memories of the championships we won during our time there 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.”

Mullen, 45, emerged as Stricklin’s No. 1 target over the past few days and an agreement was reached Sunday afternoon. Mullen and Stricklin worked together at MSU, where Stricklin was the athletic director from 2010-16 and the senior associate AD from 2008-10.

“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.

“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.”

UF president Kent Fuchs praised Stricklin for the way he conducted the school’s search for a new coach.

“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,” 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.”

 In going with Mullen, the Gators can check off two key boxes: his innovative spread/option offense has been productive wherever he’s been and he’s had great success developing quarterbacks, two of whom are now in the NFL — Dak Prescott (Dallas) and Alex Smith (Kansas City). Mullen, of course, also helped develop Tim Tebow.

Florida’s three Heisman-winning quarterbacks — Tebow, Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel — all are giving the hiring of Mullen a thumb’s up.

“The Gators are thrilled that Dan Mullen has accepted our offer to be the head coach at our University,” Spurrier said. “With his background here with Urban Meyer and his success at Mississippi State, he is well prepared to turn the Gators back into a top-10 football program in the country. We all look forward to his arrival here in Gainesville and to welcome him back to Gator Nation.”

Tebow and Mullen had a close player/coach relationship at UF and have remained friends over the years since Tebow graduated.

“I love that Coach Mullen is someone who understands the culture of the University of Florida and has won two national championships here,” Tebow said. “Dan understands how to coach and mentor quarterbacks and build championship level expectations and deliver them both on and off the field. He will not only be a great coach for the players from an X’s and O’s standpoint, but as a mentor for all the young men in the program.”

Said Wuerffel, who won the Heisman in 1996: “All of us Gators love to not only win games, but have fun along the way. I’m confident Dan Mullen will quickly get us back on track on both fronts.”

Florida’s offense has been in steady decline since Mullen left after the 2008 season to become the head coach at MSU.

UF’s offense this season ranks 111th in the nation. It is the third season in a row the Gators have finished outside the top 100 in total offense.

While the Gators struggled under former coaches Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp, MSU has thrived under Mullen, who has taken the program to new heights.

In his nine seasons, the Bulldogs are 69-45 and are bowl eligible for the eighth season in a row. Mullen is 5-2 in bowl games.

In 2014, MSU rose to No. 1 in the nation after beating No. 8 LSU on the road, No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 2 Auburn.

The Bulldogs, coming off a loss to arch-rival Ole Miss this past Thursday, are 8-4 this season and 4-4 in the SEC.

Mullen’s record against SEC opponents is 33-39.

Stricklin inherited Mullen as his head football coach at Mississippi State and the two had a relationship that was sometimes bumpy, according to several sources. But Stricklin also felt Mullen was one of the best coaches in the country.

His 69 wins are second only to Jackie Sherrill’s 75 wins at Mississippi State.

At Florida from 2005-08, Mullen was the offensive coordinator for two national titles and also coached Tebow to a Heisman Trophy in 2007. He accepted the job in Starkville after the Gators qualified for the national title game in ’08, but returned to coach in that win over Oklahoma.

Mullen’s offenses at Florida were among the best in school history. The Gators scored the most points in a season in 2008. That same season, UF averaged 7.1 yards a play, the second-best average in school history. In 2007, UF scored the second most points in school history.

In his four years as the coordinator, the Gators went 44-9, averaged 36.3 points a game and 6.5 yards per play. All ranked first in the SEC over that span.

Mississippi State, at 8-4, is headed to its eighth straight bowl game. Florida, of course, is missing a bowl game for the second time in five years.

Mullen has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in college football including Tebow, Smith and Prescott.

But there was a perception he wasn’t well-liked when he was at Florida because of his aloof personality. One high-ranking SEC official referred to Mullen’s issues with a “bedside manner.”

But Stricklin told The Sun recently that he felt that Mullen had matured both as a coach and a person during his time in Starkville.

Back in August, Mullen’s wife raised some issues with the fan base at UF on the Mississippi State Athletics website.

“The former school where we were at before, we won championships there, won practically every single game we played for four years there,” Megan Mullen said. “It wasn’t if we won or lost. It was if we didn’t score 43 points or more, I was going to the grocery store in Orlando where I worked with the Golf Channel and I was driving the groceries back to Gainesville, because it was that bad.”

When Florida hired Geoff Collins from Mississippi State to be the Florida defensive coordinator, Mullen referred to it as a “lateral move.” But apparently, that’s not the case at the top of the coaching food chain.

Mullen becomes the fifth coach to change from one SEC school to another following Bill Curry (Alabama to Kentucky), Gerry DiNardo (Vanderbilt to LSU), Tommy Tuberville (Ole Miss to Auburn) and Houston Nutt (Arkansas to Ole Miss).

307 COMMENTS

  1. A very good choice of a Head Coach who is certainly qualified. Let’s Hope he does not coach the MSU Bowl Game and concentrates on recruiting up to the mid-December signing deadline. QB development is one of his strengths. Let us hope his DC is reflective of his style on offense.

    Does anyone know how much money UF has to pay that fraud MacElwain?

    • Ludimeister, think about what we get here. A former Gator, knows the culture of winning and when Florida was elite. Knows the SEC inside-out. One helluva offensive minded coach who knows all aspects of that side of the game. Proven coach c an appreciable track record to evaluate, who took a bottom dwelling, under-resourced SEC school to a winning program, in a by the way very tough division. Think about that last one for a minute–if he can develop the talent available to MSU to that level, think about what he can do at UF c tons more higher grade athletes in the normal (sadly more shared now) pool. And, he’s a good recruiter to boot. He’s still young (well, from my vantage point anyway, I go back to the Ray Graves era), and probably is just now hitting his stride…..mature, not a flash in the pan, and not likely to go flat and most likely to stay and win at a high level for the long term. SEC and National Championships may take a couple or three years to get back to, but they’ll come. And so will season long rankings instead of all this in & out BS. Great hire!

      How much money did we pay to get McElwain gone? Too much, I’m sure, based on the product. But probably not as much as we might have had to but for the AD being on the ball.

      Dunno about the DC. I think Shannon can do it, the base line talent will be there after this season. But wouldn’t it be something to hire John Chavis out of TAMU if Sumlin goes this year?

    • I read somewhere that McElwain’s buyout still has not been resolved. Sexton probably playing hardball since he doesn’t represent Chip Kelly. Now that his other client, Mullen, has been hired by UF, maybe they can lean on McElwain to reach a settlement. However, I have my doubts. All McElwain has to do is show a death threat to a judge or jury and UF doesn’t have a case to take away his buyout. I’ve seen an article (on ESPN?) that there were some social media posts that could be construed as death threats.

      • Well, that’s discouraging Sly. Read a story a few minutes ago on a national site regarding the Mullen hire, that “once Kelly turned down Florida….”. My take, of course, is that the Florida AD moved on from him once it was clear that he was just playing games.

  2. Fired up, ready to go. Remember, doubters, the last season the Gator offense was not an embarrassment and took full advantage of the talent available was 2008, Mullen’s last at UF. Also, a coach’s relationship with the media is not a predictor of success. Do you think Patriot fans and the Krafts would trade Belichik for a Bobby Bowden type?

    • Looks like Texas AM just stepped up to the plate and will hire Jimbo Fisher who has won a national championship and is an exceptional recruiter. I was hoping Mr. Stricklin would be equally bold. Instead, as you say he “plays it safe”. Hoping his pensiveness pays off.

    • as far as safe choices, thought Charlie Strong was also probably on the list. thought maybe he would be ahead of mullen due to rumored rocky relationship with stricklin and mullen, but def thot those were the only two on the list after kelly took ucla.

    • I’ve seen too many references about DM’s ability to recruit and finding value in lesser ranked players. This may be true but that is what was said about Macandcheeseteeth, because he did that at CSU. At MSU, DM basically got 3* players. The thing is, can DM step up and get the 4* and 5* players that UF historically gets. Mac couldn’t quite get there and I got frustrated hearing the commitment announcements about one 3* after another (and I know many of you did too because I read it in the comments, and yes I know that there are some undervalued 3* players that should be recruited).

      • Mullen did it in arguably the toughest division in the Power 5 for 9 years, and was doing it out of necessity instead of by choice. He couldn’t attract the same recruits there that he’ll be able to at UF. He was taking all the scraps left over from Bama, UF, LSU, and Georgia and competing with them. You won’t be seeing him settle for the 3 stars now.

      • Matt Corral committed to McElweenie, but you have to think there was aa good chance he might have looked elsewhere based on whom the Gators hired. As soon as the news broke, he tweeted, “Done deal!”

        Also, the recently de-committed Jacob Copeland is hinting at a possible return to the class. I am sure Corral will be in his ear, as well as that of Jamarr Chase.

        So what does that tell you? If the kids that will play for him are happy, so then should be the rest of Gator Nation.

        Cue up Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, because, “better days are coming!”

  3. Mullen Excellent Hire if true! Gator Offense thrived under Mullen 2005 thru 2008!! Clear drop off after the 2008 season even with Tebow and Company still intact with a 13 and 1 record….most likely would’ve repeated as National Champs in 2009 if not for Mullen taking the Miss St job! GO GATORS!

    • Freeman–you must have ESP. Move to Vegas and cash in on all your predictions. Just curious. Who would you have hired? Lane Kiffin or Greg Schiano. LOL. One thing he does need are athletes, 4 and 5-star players. The QB for his offense was red-shirted this year. Franks can look for another school as he does not fit the run and shoot system of Mullen./

      • Cattrick….regarding Schiano, he was hired at Tenn, but withdrawn 6 hours later today due to, apparently, fans being upset that he was at Penn State same time as all the scandal up there. I don’t recall any information ever surfacing that he was even aware of what was going on, but in any event they’re possibly making a mistake that might cost them on the field. I’ve always said that the problems in the Vols athletic department were much bigger than Butch Jones.

      • GATOR-6, I sure hope you’re right, because I want the Gators to win, but Mullen’s history at MSU doesn’t bode well for the passing game. In his 9 seasons there, the Bulldogs averaged more than 245 yards passing/game in only two seasons: 2014 and 2015, the Dak Prescott years. In his first year, Mullen did improve total offense from a pathetic 275 yards/game to 371 yards/game, but the passing offense actually regressed by 30 yards/game. On the other hand, if we can win the East and be competitive in Atlanta by running the ball, I’ll be good with that. But my fear is Mullen will turn our QB into a running back who throws the ball occasionally, and unless we’re winning SEC and national championships that way, the fans won’t be happy with a run-heavy offense.

        • Well, you said it Joe–if that’s the way we win championships, then so be it. You’re right, anything short of that will be a bust. Nice analysis, by the way.

          Incidentally, I was listening to the Texas A&M AD, who I thought put it exactly perfect: “We expect to compete for SEC championships every year, and we expect to be in the national championship title game at least every few years”.

        • With Perine, Lemons, and Malik Davis, already here, and hopefully Iverson Clement and Dameon Pierce still on the way, I don’t see much reason for having the QB run, especially when that QB could be Matt Corral. If Mullen and Corral can get Copeland and Chase back into the fold, that’s potentially a friggin’ ARSENAL of heavy weapons at the skill positions.

        • Matt Corral doesn’t think so or I don’t think he would still be arriving in Hogtown next month.

          And speaking of run-heavy, what would be wrong with that as long as it results in TDs?

          Perine, and Lemons, and Davis, oh my! Throw in Clement and Pierce and that’s (potentially) a “Sabanesque” stable of backs.

          • Albert, I agree with you about our running backs, but with the exception of Leak, who actually threw for more yards and TD’s before Mullen got here, his QB’s have usally been runners. Just because there won’t be a need for the QB to run doesn’t mean Mullen won’t run him. And when a RB has to compete with 3 other RB’s AND the QB for carries, there’s less incentive for the best RB’s to come here. But you’re right there’s nothing wrong with a run-heavy offense if it produces TD’s AND wins games and championships.

  4. Missed again. No way around it, this is not the solution for Florida. How can this be viewed as a success when we’re presented with the (very) distant third choice at best? Bottom line here: Mullen spells mediocrity.

      • I suggest you visit an optometrist immediately for it appears you are being blinded by what my old man use to call, “Optic rectitis,” which in layman’s terms translates to a fecal outlook on life.

        Why can you not wait until he’s actually coached a few games before you start your incessant female dogging?

        Upon seeing the news the main cog in the 2018 class immediately declared himself all in. His opinion counts for more than your, or mine, or any other swinging richard on this site.

        If you’re so pissed off over this go root for a big, sexy hire for the clown college.

        Have a nice day…

        • When Mullen went to MSU, they had no talent and no history of winning. Check the last five years of Mullen coaching at MSU, a program that never had a winning tradition until Mullen arrived. Hardly mediocre in any manner of thinking. But it did take him a couple of years to get a winning record going. But other coaches at MSU had tried to do that and totally failed. Not Mullen. They love him there for it. Ask any MSU fan if Mullen is mediocre in any way.

    • Lots of short memories around here. Mullen drew our ire as an OC because his system was run-first and boring. Without a game-changing, once in a generation QB like Tebow, his system is dreadfully limited. Oh, but remember how good the WRs were at BLOCKING?

      As a head coach, Mullen has a TERRIBLE record against ranked teams. His recruiting presence in-state will never trump FSU and Miami. He has an edgy, difficult relationship with Gator fans. Dan Mullen’s teams will scare NONE of our rivals. So let’s be honest: UF missed on its first two picks, and this hire is thoroughly mediocre.

      If we were going to end up with a lackluster hire who didn’t make a splash, I’d rather sign Mike Leach and watch his team’s throw for 500 yards a game. At least that’s fun.

          • His wife shot her mouth off to the Mississippi press about what a sorry town Gainesville is. Had to go to another town to “grocery shop”. That’s what disrespect is Gator-6 and it came from Mrs Mullen.

          • Turnabout….all true, but I stand by my comments to James. I’ll bet Dan Mullen is wishing she had just kept her mouth shut if she didn’t have anything better to say….but come on, I’ve got too much respect for you guys to believe you’re not better than that. Leave family out of it, even if we all took her comments as offensive. We’re hiring him, not her.

          • Amen, Gator-6, amen. What a bunch of female genitalia with such tender feelings on this site. Carrying a grudge against a girl for a meaningless comment for nine years.

            Let me ask the poor little boys. where was your outrage at Urban for cheap-shotting the Gators for the “broken” program that he himself created? Did you also rail against Shelly for her derogatory comments about the fan base?

            And do not say you did, without links, or I will call bovine excrement.

      • Remember winning a national championship with Chris Leak, who was not a spread QB?

        Look at our current situation at RB, and look at Clement and Pierce coming in. Matt Corral is all i,n and will be in the ears of the recently de-committed Copeland and Jamarr Chase. Kyle Pitts is should be a huge upgrade at TE.

        That is (potentially) a veritable arsenal of skill players for Mullen to work with.

        He wasn’t a sexy hire, but if the kids are happy, so am I.

        Go Gators!

    • Great we hire a coach that starts off with a lie about his wife loving this move. Second, he’s 0-9 vs. Alabama. THAT’s ZERO and NINE. He’s 1-3 against UGA. Kirby Smart is still bent over laughing at us chalking up what are sure wins every year. This is a disaster. His tenure at UF was NINE year ago. NINE. The game has changed significantly since then. Someone on here said he ran a spread option offence at MSU. That offense he put up at MSU was a whale that crawled up and down the field with talented QB’s that made it bearable. Good god, he lost to SOUTHERN ALABAMA last year. Grantham couldn’t stop a pop warner football team. Mullen is going to drag him over with him. 33-39 against the SEC. 52nd in offense. We’re paying $7 million for this? We couldn’t go after Norvell with $7 Million!?!? Morris or Campbell?!?! What an amateur show this has turned into. Get ready for plodding 8 win seasons and inexhaustible invitations to Weed Eater bowls. The low bar of low expectations is awesome, isn’t it?

      • That’s your opinion, bud, I just hope you’re willing to change it if the outcome is different than you predict. One thing though–the more I see of Kirby Smart, I think he’s way too smart to be laughing his ass off over this hire.

          • Well, that particular part of the human anatomy is said to be just like opinions, Albert….since everybody’s got one. Maybe we got more than our share? Hell, I don’t care, I love passion….just not when it gets personal.

  5. For all doubters while CDM wasn’t my 1st choice look at what he’s accomplished at MSU. If you understand the SEC at all you will realize this is phenomenal, limited resources and recruiting. This is a HR hire recruits will react positively. Go Gators

  6. Perfectly fine with Mullen. He’s not the flashy choice, but his track record is solid. He’s shown with guys like Tebow and Prescott what he can do with QBs. He’s turned MSU into a regular competitor and his teams love him. Its arguable he should’ve been the choice after Muschamp.

  7. Great job AD Strickland. You had to do your due deligence with Kelly but knew all along he wasn’t the right fit. Thank god Florida has a power program for institutional control and we’re not compromising in that regard. Frost, well you can’t blame him for wanting to go home. Mullen is a great fit and hire. He has an offensive mindset and understands that defense win titles! Go Gators!

  8. This is a disastrous hire. Dan Mullen has the worst record against Top 25 teams (when his team is ranked) in NCAA football history. Wrap your head around that. Of all the coaches that have ranked team, when DM team is ranked in the Top 25 he has a winning percentage of less than 15%. He has only won 9 games 1 time @ MSU and has a losing SEC record while @ MSU. Yep, sounds like Strickland got his guy. H

  9. Looks like we missed on another coaching search. How in the hell do you miss on the two hottest and obvious candidates is beyond me. Break the bank Mr. New AD and get the job done! But instead, play it conservative like our sorry excuse for an offense. Did Stricklin even try to get anyone else? Key word is try. This is ridiculous. Well, we’ve burned almost a decade trying to get back among the elite. What’s a couple more?

  10. Chip Kelly – who couldn’t beat an SEC team?
    Scott Frost – whose only success is in an inferior conference? Why not pursue Lane Kiffen then?

    Dan Mullen has a proven track record in the hardest division in the hardest conference in the nation. Great move, Gators!

  11. Again – this a disaster! Can the board of regents step in here and block this from happening? I think we need new leadership in the UAA as well. Put a lifelong gator in there as a leader. This cannot be allowed to occur. The financial ramifications are HUGE.

  12. He recently said he was not interested, so I wonder what made him change his mind. Money? I don’t really want him if he only is motivated by money and really does not want to be a Gator. I will give him a chance, but he better get a very good staff, some on our current staff might continue in some areas.

  13. I would have liked Les Miles but Mullen is a good hire. He has been in the SEC as a head coach and understands Florida. The guy had very little to work with at Miss St and had success. The best part of this hire is i feel that Mullen wants to be at Florida. Kelly and Frost didn’t.

    Lets get behind Mullen. Lets get some positive vibes going. Things have been way too negative for too long now.

    Welcome back Dan. We are behind you.

  14. No matter who we hire, some are going to be disappointed. Too much run, not enough defense, bad record against ranked teams, etc. Mullen wasn’t my first choice either but it does make sense. He came to Florida when it was in rough shape and immediately made the offense great. He had some good teams at MSU but they can’t recruit like Florida and don’t have the same facilities. Dan Mullen is a competitor and should be able to get some good coaches. He does develop quarterbacks well.

    For those of you thinking this was a miss, consider that Kelly has NCAA baggage and was not interested in competition, Frost will go to his alma matter, and both Strong (defensive mind) and Taggart are in their first years at a new job and probably wouldn’t leave now. Just because Florida throws a lot of money at a coach doesn’t mean the coach is coming. Just like recruits, coaches look at what is best for them and their families. Dan Mullen had success at UF and knows he can again. Go Gators!

    • Well said, Ocala. I think everybody got seduced by the possibility of a big–strike that, huge–name hire. Who turned out to be more of a Prima Dona than was required and was only playing games. Glad Stricklin moved on of his own accord. Frost may be superlative, but other than one great season, doesn’t have the track record to evaluate like this one. Besides, he’s a done deal to his alma mater and I sure hope he wins a lot of BIG10 championships up there while we start winning the SEC again.

  15. Wow. Just wow. Mediocrity lives on at UF. Scott Stricklin ran home to momma. Too bad he’s stuck in Jeremy Foley mode and hire a “do boy” instead of a winning coach. Actually, quick question here: who exactly was kicking down Mullen’s door to hire him? Who? Wait, nobody? NOBODY? Not Tennessee or A&M? NOBODY? So, we took him. Other than 2014 (2nd) he has finished no better than 4th in the SEC west. So apparently, bowl eligible is what Florida is aspiring to now, instead of greatness. The greatness of Florida football, is done.

    • Wrong, Boo. And for what it’s worth, I hope Schiano does a good job up there c the Vols (if they really do have him). Back in the day when Phil Fulmer was there, it was a great program and the Fla-Tenn game was a national highlight yearly. In fact, I hope the entire East can upgrade…..when Georgia beats Auburn next week, and possibly goes onto win the national title, there will probably be an asterisk next to it in the minds of many people not from the south.

  16. Makes you wonder what Stricklin has been doing for the past month besides chasing Kelly.

    I like Dan Mullen and believe he is the best HBC candidate out there at this time. Not sure though how this will impact Corral and other pro-offense players. I’m not going to assume that Mullen will stay with a spread offense but odds are he will.

    I believe in Dan Mullen but have serious doubts about the long-term impact of Scott Stricklin on this program if this fiasco is any indication. You can say what you want about McElwain, but he should have finished out the season. It hurt this team, program and recruiting to fire him mid-season. Now Mullen has this huge open wound to heal while trying to keep this team and recruiting class together.

    For the Mullen doubters, look the record of any MSU coach. He made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear in Starkville. We saw what he could do with the Gator talent and offense in his stint as OC.

    I’ll be curious to see how much of this staff he keeps to hold existing relationships prized recruits.

    • mtn2top – Wasn’t it Mullen who came in and built Meyers offense around Chris Leak who was a drop back pro style QB? They originally tried to make Leak an option QB but it wasn’t working. Mullen was smart enough to use the talent available in an offense they were comfortable in and went to the spread when Tebow took over at QB. Hopefully he will do the same with Corral assuming he signs with UF. I would bet that Mullen has already been on the phone with him as soon as he accepted the offer. We MUST have another QB. Franks still looks lost and doesn’t seem to see the field very well. Don’t know if Mullen can help him or not. It’s pretty obvious he hasn’t been coached very well to this point. Don’t know what kind of upside Allen or Trask have since they’ve been injured or redshirted all year. I like the hire and think it will prove beneficial to UF in the long run. Of course some of the fans will expect and SEC Championship next year and a playoff berth the year after. Hope most will give the guy a chance. It will not happen over night!

    • You dont keep a coach who made up death threats to stick it in the eye of the fans and went to the media with it rather than the police and the university. He was FIRED FOR CAUSE, he hurt the University and recruiting with this pettiness and was too stupid to realize he could be fired for cause and it would cost him millions. his buyout was 13 million!

  17. This is probably who Foley should have hired after Meyer left if there wasn’t such a personal grudge. Since then he has proven himself at MSU. This is probably the best fit.

    I’m relieved we didn’t get Chip Kelly and I can admit I haven’t followed Frost enough to have a strong opinion either way. Maybe a genius, maybe flavor of the week. But the flurry of voices calling out his name lately is reminiscent of how we ended up with Muschamp in the past. People act like UCF doesn’t regularly waffle from disastrous seasons to fantastic seasons. If you followed them for any length of time you would know better. I just have to ask, if George O’Leary were still at UCF and they were 11-0…would you guys be clamoring for his hire? I think not.

    And anyone trying to come up with ridiculous stats like “Dan Mullen has the worst record against Top 25 teams (when his team is ranked)” is missing the forest for the trees. I can’t help but think these people are really young and have no idea what MSU was like pre-Mullen. The very fact MSU was ever ranked to begin with is practically a miracle.

    • Agree thank you best post on here most of Mullens haters are either casual fans or idiots , I would’ve Ike chip Kelly personally but he said no you go up to a 10 at a bar and you get turned down ok no reason to go jump off a mountain

    • I am far from young, but age has nothing to do with football knowledge. Also, Dan Mullen has won ZERO as a head coach. MSU is still a basement dweller, subtract Dak and what’s he got?
      He may be decent, but he has won nothing or proven nothing as a head coach. Numbers don’t lie, and his suck. Take the OC crap away and another Mac.
      And I guess I have to say,just to show My opinion counts—- I’m a multigenerational gator, Alumni, Booster, Donator, have more kids up there now and more being accepted. Lololol .. so lame.

  18. They make feminine products for what ails you under educated haters! I would love to see the comments you same V’s left when we hired ” That unknown guy from Utah named Meyer”! For those of you unhappy with “the run”, did you watch the Alabama/Auburn game? Take a chill and watch him do his thing, GREAT HIRE! Also, watch what the commits say, this is a good thing>

  19. Any chance he could bring back Tebow as assistant in charge of recruiting. Can you think of anyone who would have more access to recruits and parents outside of Nick, not to mention the the integrity and high standards he would bring. He’s a great asset to UF wish we would use him.

    • Imagine having Tebow sitting on your living room couch (that alone would have most parents swooning), giving one of his famous ‘Tebow’ speeches, trying to persuade your kid to come play for ‘Tebow’s team’! Talk about an Ace in the Hole. I know I sound like a Tebow homer (I am), but tell me that wouldn’t work.
      And Theeer said it best about people bitchin about the new rope. I say if you post here complaining about the new hire, you should say also who you would get and why.
      I hope all you ‘Kelly’ people who were willing to give that left nut to get him understand now that he did not want this job and was NEVER going to come here. A yankee boy who fell in love with Left Coast lifestyle who wanted more of it. Never gonna be a Gator, wasn’t meant to be a Gator…me thinks.

  20. I personally thought Mullen should have been hired when Urban left. Mullen has had success wherever he’s been both as an assistant and HBC. MSU is the second university in the poorest state in the union and he had them ranked number 1 three years ago. He develops QBs. He was the key guy with Urban in developing the spread option. He’s basically SOS’ age when he came to UF. This is a great hire.

  21. Going back to Mullen’s playbook isn’t my idea of bringing the fun back to Gator football. Except for a few surprises now and then, it wasn’t close to being exciting to watch. I don’t follow Cow Bell Football, so I can only hope his offense has evolved. With brilliant young offensive gurus like Frost and Norvell out there, it’s hard to accept that UF could not have landed one of them. Let’s hope that Mullen proves to be more than a journeyman football coach when he arrives. UF needs a great HBC, not just a very good one.

      • David: yeah… It was fun to watch Harvin and Tebo and the Pouncey twins do heroic stuff, but we played a lot of close games against lesser teams due to conservative play calling if you recall. I remember grumbling about predictable plays. Winning is fun but wide-open offense is exciting to watch.

        • I checked the record for 2006, to see how close the games were against lesser teams. Vanderbilt and USCe played us pretty close (6-point and 1-point margins, respectively), but Vandy seems to almost always play us close and USC was coming up under SOS. Other lesser teams: Southern Miss, 34-7; UCF, 42-0; Western Carolina, 62-0. Oh, and we beat Bama 28-13 (regular season game). If you read the article, you see that the two highest scoring teams in the history of Gator football came with Mullen as OC. I would be surprised if we don’t see wide-open offense, but which would your prefer: 12-0 without one or 6-6 with one?

          • The article is wrong about scoring. Mullen’s highest scoring team, 2008 at 43.6 points per game, is only good for fourth all time in points per game … still very good, but not the best. It may have produced the most total points, but the NCAA added the 12th game in ’06, so teams after that had an extra game. Spurrier’s teams, as you might expect hold the top, 3 spots. BTW, Mullen’s ’05 & ’06 offenses both scored less than 30 points per game.

        • He is dead ass wrong about Mullen. He is stuck in 2009 with Addazio as OC. Mullen’s offenses at Florida were always creative, innovative and unpredictable. I remember constant motion, tight ends running with the ball on flips from the QB before those plays were known to anyone else, reverses and multiple reverses, regular deep passes, misdirection on runs, wide receivers passing the ball to QBs, and Tebow having run pass options before people called them run pass options. Mullen is a brilliant offense mind and a true QB guru with every team he has coached with in college, starting with Bowling Green and all the way through Fitzgerald now.

    • Hey, it’s great to finally hear from one Gillmore, if not both! So who say’s he’s not going to be great, Rod? I think the label, “journeyman” doesn’t really apply to Mullen, although had he stayed at MSU and then gone on to a lesser program somewhere else, it might have begun to apply. MSU was his first head coaching job, and with what he had to work c there, he proved himself as a helluva coach and one c staying power.

      • GATOR-6: A jorneyman is someone who is reliable but not outstanding. There are many coaches who fit that description. Mullen may even be a very good coach, but is he outstanding? I don’t think he is definitively, with a losing SEC record (even if he’s coaching at Ccoebell U.) I hope he proves to be outstanding, but I feel skeptical. I want to see the Mighty Gators rise again flying up and down the field with innovative play calling. I hope Mullen can deliver.

        • I get where you’re coming from, Rod, and you have a good argument for the way you see it. But let me say this…..Urban did a good job c BGSU, a better job c Utah and some would call it great (I would, for sure)……but there was still risk to his hire here at the time. Good bet, for sure, turned out to be a monster hire at that. That’s where Mullen is in my view. A very good bet to turn out to be a great hire. My brain, what’s left of it by now, and my gut are both telling me the same thing: The Gators WILL rise again flying up and down the field c innovative play calling and top notch athletes. I don’t think it will be next year, but it’ll be a major change. Maybe not his second year, but realistically, nearly about there. If you’re right and I’m wrong, call me a suck egg mule and I’ll own up to it.

        • Mullen has already delivered. At Bowling Green. At Utah. At Florida. And at MSU like no head coach has before him at that school. Facts do not lie. An Apple is an apple even if someone tells you it is something else. You can have an opinion that an apple is not an apple, but it still is an apple. And Mullen is clearly a highly polished apple.

    • Rod..Mullen runs a basic spread option similar to Frost….Had Bama down 7 points in the 4th quarter…Lost starting QB against Ole Miss the other night and looked like big reason they ended up losing to them….Negative might be he is known to be a little direct….Straight shooter doesn’t bother me….

  22. Not best hire not the worst hire. The fact he wants to come here is probably the most important thing. I wasn’t sensing much of that from potential candidates. Hopefully we can look back in a couple of years from now thinking this was one of our greatest hires

  23. I think this is good solid hire, not the flamboyant coach many of had hoped for but I think he can get the job done. Remember Miss St. is one of the least desirable places to play in the SEC. How many top recruits say they want to play in Starkville? Then remember State is in the west. If you switched GA and Miss St., Ga probably would only finish 3rd or possibly even 4th in the west, while Miss St. could have won the east. Problem is the gators need a lot of players. Both OL and DL need rebuilt. Need LB’s and safeties on the defense and lets face it the gators probably had the worst QB play in the conference and maybe even in the nation.

  24. Was hoping all along for Frost but I am fully supportive of this hire. Mullen is a proven head coach. His won/loss record should take into account the division his teams have played in, with ‘Bama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M, all schools with vastly superior resources and his MSU teams competed very well! I am confident that this move can stop the bleeding of our upcoming recruiting class and even pull some of the defectors back into the fold. Either way, this man can coach up whatever talent his staff can bring in. Forget the “sexy hire” that some people have been pleading for, this is the hire UF needs to bring stability back to the program. Great move Mr. Stricklin.

  25. Mullen is an excellent choice, and I like that he is only in his 40s. He won at Mississippi State, which for most of my life was a coaching graveyard where no one ever managed to win a bunch. He went there and turned them into a team that goes to bowls every year, and competed well with teams that had far more resources. The dude wins, and he will win here as well!

  26. Good hire. Stricklin was lucky enough to have a vacancy during a time when it was very hard for him to really screw up the hire. Heck, Strong and others are still available and would have been good hires. With that said, I really hope he just retains Shannon at DC. That side started young, then lost Harris, then lost players in the CC scandal, THEN lost a lot to injuries, and had to deal with an offense that does things like spot the other team 28 points — but STILL have managed to field a defense ranks 31 in total defense. There is no reason to not retain Shannon.

  27. I have to say I am not bowled over, but if you go look at twitter it seems the QB of Snoop Dog High, I mean, Long Beach Poly is sticking to his commitment and will be on campus next month.

    If Mullen is good enough for Matt Corral, he’s good enough for me.

    Welcome back Coach Mullen!

    Welcome aboard Matty Ice!

    Better days are coming.

  28. Dan did a remarkable job at MSU believe me, I’ve been to Starke Vegas it’s in the sticks, surrounded by thousands of Acres of cow pastures. If Florida would have been in the SEC west the last six or seven years we would have been the door matt. The East has been terrible since Tebow depart. There was talk of getting rid of the East and West because the West side had so many good teams. Dan is a soiled hire. Better than Kelly who wanted no part of the SEC it’s alot easier to win out there on the joke coast. We will be fine Gator fan need a good QB something bad, the QB is 50% of the offense, it’s a must have in the SEC.

  29. Let’s look at facts. Let’s put aside our preferences and our subjectivity and look at this objectively.

    You do realize that Jim McElwain was that OC for Saban for a NC right? How did that turn out for us? Those NC’s and SEC titles belong to Urban, not Dan. Dan was just running Urban’s offense. Since he has been on his own he has been the Vanderbilt of the West? All you guys who say this is a great hire….do me a favor….show me one thing Dan Mullen has won has head coach? Show me one time Dan Mullen has coached a team to rise up and become ELITE….if only for a few weeks? Everyone loves this hire but they only love it because there memory is shaped by Urban Myer being the coach when Dan Mullen was here.

    I am sorry, and I have said it earlier, Dan has the worst winning percentage against the Top 25 when his team is ranked of ANY coach EVER in NCAA history. DAMN MAN!! What are we doing here. We can’t even get a coach with a winning SEC record. Everyone wants to say he was coaching in the West, the toughest conference in NCAA football. You do realize our shiny new coach lost to SOUTH ALABAMA last year. SOUTH ALABAMA. Not THE ALABAMA…..SOUTH ALABAMA. He has lost to unranked BYU, ARKANSAS, KENTUCY…just last year as well. This same coach DID beat Miami by one point last year in a bowl game…..MIAMI of OHIO!!! I tell ya…..this is someone to be proud of. Well done sir….well done.

  30. Gotta love this from Robbie: “MSU has thrived under Mullen, who has taken the program to new heights.”

    While our offense has been putrid….”new heights” means still NOT in the Top 50 in offensive production. Don’t tell us how to feel Robbie. Those of us who know what we just hired and his b!itch of a wife are very aware of the arrogant ba$tard and his crap show of a dive offense. We could have got Addazio for a lot less with the same results.

    • well, at least it’s an alternative suggestion. don’t agree with it, but i have yet to see anyone else who doesn’t like the mullen hire offer an alternative solution. thot it came down to mullen or strong, and nobody else was being considered at this point, for one reason or another.

    • Mike, Mike, Mike…..I was just about to admire you for at least sticking to your guns while presenting a coherent (although wrong) argument…..and you had to go and attack a family member. What’s wrong c you, son? Knock that shit off and get back to making your points!

      • “The former school where we were at before, we won championships there, won practically every single game we played for four years there,” Megan Mullen said. “It wasn’t if we won or lost. It was if we didn’t score 43 points or more, I was going to the grocery store in Orlando where I worked with the Golf Channel and I was driving the groceries back to Gainesville, because it was that bad.” – Ms. Mullen.

        Her attacks on us (Gator Nation) have been public for years. This is just one of MANY derogatory comments she has uttered publicly about the school that gave her husband the public platform to get his current job. We are so awful. And her husband IS ARROGANT. Again, it is well documented that he is aloof and constantly exuding an air of superiority in whatever room he is in. This is one of the biggest reasons I am so shocked with this hire as many in the AAU had made several comments upon his departure about how cocky and puffed up Mullen was when in the presence of his peers and AAU staff. None of this is new or fabricated.

        Now, getting the crap beat out of you for the last several years by South Alabama, Kentucky, Ole Miss, BYU, and many other less than stellar programs can have a way of knocking you down a few pegs. Evidently low enough to be qualified to lead UF into oblivion. I just continue to shake my head at this hire. It makes ZERO sense. This man has zero redeeming qualities that justify him to lead UF football.

        Les Miles, Charlie Strong, Matt Campbell ALL have better resumes than this guy…and ALL could have been had. Heck, Charlie was practically begging for the job from what I have been told by a very dear friend in the USF athletic program. I could go on and on but this just make no sense other than he will not have to have someone show him around the football complex.

        • I lived in Gainesville and went to UF for 5 years. I agree with her. Gator fans are extremely annoying. I say this as a gator fan. If you don’t think our fans are some of the worst in college football, you need to look around. If we were ranked by this, we would be going to the playoffs for sure.

          And if you view the words you quoted from her as an “attack”, then I don’t know what to tell you. Need to put on your big boy pants Mike. People are going to say a lot worse.

          And finally, I sort of agree with you about Charlie Strong. I know he has coveted this UF job for a long time. He’s been frustrated with being passed over. We are lucky to have him think so highly of this program. But, the fans have spoken and they wanted an offense oriented coach. I’d have been happy with either of them, but Mullen is who was needed to resurrect the offense.

      • Rick, why don’t we meet outside of section 221 at the orange and blue game so you can stop hiding behind this social media bravado. I will be there 45 minutes before kickoff, wearing a long my sleeve white gator t-shirt with a blue gator hat. We can take some time to “work out our difference” and see if you maintain such bravado in person. I invite everyone who is reading these comments to join us to see if Mr. Name Callier ass can cash the checks his big mouth is writing. I am dead serious.

  31. “Mullen becomes the fifth coach to change from one SEC school to another following Bill Curry (Alabama to Kentucky), Gerry DiNardo (Vanderbilt to LSU), Tommy Tuberville (Ole Miss to Auburn) and Houston Nutt (Arkansas to Ole Miss).”

    Did you forget Doug Dickey?

  32. phrases like bitch of a wife are exactly the reason why the gidiots out there are making the uf job less appealing to coaches all the time, and i’m sure make coaching searches more challenging. what an incredibly jerky thing to say. what kind of coach wants to subject his wife to what macelwain’s wife had to go thru when she did receive verified death threats on her facebook page. i believe mrs mullen’s comments about not wanting to go to the grocery store in gainesville come from a relevant and unfortunate personal experience. i’m calling for all the gators on this board to show a little bit more class and respect to human beings everywhere, even vols, noles, and other questionables. as for gidiots like mike, please everyone out there, realize this no-class jerk does not represent the gator nation.

    • realize the hypocrisy of asking for more respect and referring to someone as a gidiot, but still horrified that anyone would make those comments about any of our coaches’ wives for whatever reason. that doesnt belong out there on this site. truly lamentable. makes me embarassed to be part of the same fan base.

  33. Not a big fan of the hire. So the AD and now the head coach are from Mississipi State. I guess that’s what we’re considering the high water mark these days huh? I would have preferred Frost, an up and comer.

  34. I seem to recall a Florida firing their coach the day after losing to Mississippi State, now we are striving to be them.
    Am I the only one who thinks that’s messed up?
    He was horrible as the OC here.
    Sorry he was boring and he had Percy Harvin! Yes he can develop QB’s as long as they are 6’5 and 240 lbs.

    Awful hire.

  35. Pat Dooley frequently mentioned that Chip Kelly wasn’t a good fit for Florida because of personality and off the field issues. Dan Mullen doesn’t have the Chip Kelly recruiting violations but he does have personality issues that would seem to make him an odd choice for UF. Especially considering the numerous issues with the last head coach.

  36. Was Mullen the leader from the get go? I think so. I think SS level of comfort with him and his knowledge of Mullins real interest made him the odds on favorite. I think Mullen was by far the safest choice. Kelly and Frost were high risk, high reward types. Not sure if Mullen is going to be a high reward type but I think he could consistently win 10 games a year here. This guy could be Mark Richt part 2. Not so sure he can win 14-15 games though, that’s the danger. With Frost and Kelly you know they can lead a team to an undefeated season. The only question is could they do it in the SEC. I think every person that has no knowledge of SS’s true opinion on the coaching search thought Frost would be no worse than the #2 choice. Think SS went through the motions with Kelly because the $$ probably demanded it. This was a strategic decision of not being told no again.

    Let’s be positive
    While Mullen may not be a great recruiter he was the offensive coordinator and qb coach when UF signed Tebow, Newton, and Brantley. All 3 were ranked no worse than #2 in their class. He can’t be worse than McEloser.

    The Pros IMO:
    1. Proven track record of success in the hardest division in the NCAA.
    2. Can develop qbs.
    3. Running game stronger
    4. Coming to a much easier division than already coached
    5. Recruiting(not all world but
    The Cons
    1. Defense is suspect
    2. Team plays to competition(good and bad). MSU rarely roughed up their opponents even non-league teams.

    Now he needs to hire some crazy good recruiters and a top DC.
    Think this speaks a lot to SS as an athletic director. Blaugh. He took the easy way out.
    Is Mullen’s wife moving to Starke, FL for the comfort factor?

    • You don’t fly to New Hampshire on a Sunday with your entire athletic department to interview Kelly if he’s not your first choice, had UCLA not pulled the plug on Mora at the same time Kelly was interviewing with UF, he’d be the new Gator HBC, but UCLA wanted him more, Stricklen saw that, and went down the list to his second choice. Mullen is about as good a hire as could be expected, not a lot of Nick Saban’s or Urban Myers available this year. Mullen lasted 9 years at MSU, and could have stayed another 9 had he wanted, the fans at MSU are fine with winning 8-9 games a year, they’ve never tasted a championship, so they don’t know what they are missing, but can the same be said for Mullen and Florida, will he be around for a 9th season if he doesn’t bring a NC to Gainesville? What happens when he has a year with 4-5 losses, or even a 6-6 year, will the fan base tolerate that?

  37. It seems to me that Mullen was always the right pick. Familiar with Gator Football, worked with Stricklin, knows the SEC and SEC/State of Florida recruiting, has had proven offenses at UF and MSU and other intangibles that Kelley and Frost don’t have. The key? Hire a defensive coordinator that can give us the defensive prowess we had for years when Muschamp was head coach and Charley Strong when he was defensive coordinator, to go along with a hopefully explosive offense.

  38. LMAO reading the comments on our new HBC hire. Typical, some like it, some don’t like it. It goes to the old saying, “different strokes for different folks”. It’s impossible for any given group of people to agree on any given subject. One of life’s laws. As for me, since is not my dime, I’ll just wait and see. Gators are and will always be my team no matter what!. GO GATORS!!!!!

    • Alfred. Some people think Mullen is a conservative play caller and boring. Some people just have views that are not based on anything factual and think those views are based on facts. They are called alternative facts and are used to justify ones own thinking. Mullen will not be bringing alternative facts to Gainesville. And the seven year offensive nightmare just ended. Thank God.

      • Rick, I learned a long time ago, that players, not coaches win or lose games. It all starts with recruiting and developing. If we don’t have the horses, we are not going to win. I am a baseball fan, and my team is the Yankees, when they hired Torre, I was not happy at all. Torre in my thinking, was not what the Yankees needed. He was a mediocre manager at best. Well you know how that turned out. Mullen has to be given the chance to get the players we need, I hope we have the patience to stand behind him. GO GATORS!!!!

        • Couldnt disagree more, great coaches win games. We werent going anywhere till Meyer came(he had 10 + win seasons at BG and Utah before he came here). you think new England would have that record without belichick? I could name one great coach after another who took teams floundering and made them perennial winners and when they left the teams went back to mediocrity, like the gators! Great coaches are great motivators thus they get great talent to come and then know what to do and how to coach and motivate that great talent and thus win alot of games. I could also name many coaches like Fisher or Richt who had great recruiting classes year after year and unless they just happen to get a great QB they under utilize that talent because they arent great motivators. No, players are just chess pieces for the chess master, the Head coach, to use!

  39. I just hope he gets rid of FRANKS – what a WHINING CRY BABY!! Send that kid back to his Momma!!! He’s not worth a HOOT as a QB, never will be – dumb IDIOT keeps throwing the ball to the opposition!! And treats Fans like —!!! Go Away, FRANKS!!! You’d probably do a good job driving a Dump Tuck, or TRASH Truck, if you can READ the Dispatch! What a LOSER!!!

  40. Just a question for all the people who are complaining about coach mullen..who did you want instead? Chip Kelly? This school and the sec would have chewed him up and spit him out. That’s why he went to ucla. He wouldn’t have handled the pressure or commitment this league requires. Scott frost? Although he would’ve been a good hire, he would always have had an eye on the Nebraska job (which “conveniently” came open yesterday). We are lucky Dan mullen chose to come here and fix this mess..anybody except the 3 coaches I’ve listed would’ve set this program back 5 years. Welcome back coach mullen..this Gator is behind you 100%

  41. UF had no shot at either Kelly or Frost. Kelly used us to negotiate a better contract with UCLA. He had no intention of coming to the SEC. His comfort zone is in the PAC 10 and he knows it is an easier path the natty. Frost is a Nebraska boy and who does not want an opportunity to bring your school back to the glory days. He was never a serious candidate. Taggart has only been at Oregon for a year and it would show very low character to screw them that fast. Leaving that fast likely comes with a huge buyout.
    That leaves Mullen and Strong as real options. Mullen evaluates and develops talent and that makes me happy. He wants to be here and could be a long term answer for a program that needs stability.
    I can tell you that I enjoyed watching MSU games way more that UF games for the past several years.
    Go Gators!!

  42. Two good indicators: It needs repeating that Mullen made a strictly drop-back QB into MVP of a national championship team and made very strategic use of arguably the best read-option QB ever in the same season. Give UM credit, sure, but that Zook-recruited offense was the result of brilliant coaching.
    Also, Adazio’s team was predictible and feckless with great talent. Two dives, third and long and Tebow improvises for a first down. Same head coach, most of the same players, but no Dan Mullen. Some above say that the fall off was all because Harvin was gone. Gotta be a factor, but remember what the Gators did to Bama without him.

  43. I have been on record since mac was axed as wanting and hoping for Frost. Well, we don’t always get what we want. That being said, I am fully on board with Coach Mullen. Why? Because as loyal bleeder of Orange and Blue, I have no other choice. What am I going to do. Run my mouth about what a horrendous choice we have made. I could do that, but to what avail. Come on Gator Nation, let’s give the man our full support. GO GATORS!!!

    • Pretty far, even further, Saturday, had we not moved on from Kelly. Frost might have been great, true enough, but Mullen was the wiser choice and Frost will prove his mettle or not at Nebraska. Good for him, at least he didn’t play games.

  44. Dan Mullen would have been my first choice, not third. No sketchy NCAA history as with Kelly, and a much more proven record of success than young Mr. Frost. Nobody’s ever a perfect fit for this high-profile job (well except for SOS, back in 1990), but Mullen looks very solid to me.

  45. People on here are dumb. We didn’t wiff on Kelly in fact our AD did the unthinkable and offered a cheater a UF contract. After he accepted the UCLA job he told
    ESPN that the SEC is a tough nutt to crack. He can win 8-9 games and be great there. Frost is going to Nebraska…Trace Armstrong (his agent made that known). So who’s left??? Norvell or Campbell that would have a huge learning curve here. Strong or Taggart? Come on with Strong…good guy bad pick. Taggart? Good recruiter and poor game day coach or Dan Mullen? Basically has won at the Vandy of the Sec West …so while many here mentioned James Franklin that’s exactly what you’re getting…PLUS he wanted to come here. I equate us hiring Mullen like Miami hiring Richt. Now shut up give him support and move on. It’s a new day at UF.

  46. I love how the people on this board call you a troll if you give them fact’s that substantiate your belief that this hire was a total cluster and only made out of desperation. Gilmore and the rest of you dolts probably have never attended a game unless you were able to get someone to cover your shift at the burger joint you work at. As a 1990 graduate who also has a daughter who graduated from UF in 2015 and a son that is a junior @ UF who also owns 4 season tickets and has since 1992, I have just as much right (if not more based on the amount of money I have give this university) to make my opinion known. With a degree in engineer, I deal with facts, not hope. I can’t design a building hoping it will withstand hurricane force winds when all the #’s say it won’t. So, when all the numbers say we made a REALLY, REALLY bad decision on our head coach, that is what I am going to believe and what formulates my opinion. Obviously, many of you don’t have to deal with factual data in the decision making processes of your life. You make decision on “culture”, “fit”, “potential”, and other esoteric concepts fed to you by the company people (Tebow, SOS, Danny, etc). What do you expect them to say? They must toe the company line. The reality is we hired a coach with a 14% winning percentage against ranked opponents and a 45% winning percentage against SEC opponents. He has never had a recruiting class in the Top 30 and has singed exactly 2 5* recruits since 2012 (1 – 2013, 1 – 2016). He has had one 9 win season, his best season as a head coach. He has lost 21 times to unranked opponents @ home including South Alabama to open the season last year and Kentucky…the same Kentucky team we have beat like 30 times in a row (something like that). Those are the facts. If you were building a program to win NC’s, you would look at those stats and say, this isn’t going to get it done. And if that makes me a troll….so be it. At least I am not delusional.

    • I never called you a troll, Mike, I just called on you not to personalize stuff like you did. In fact, I complimented you on making points, you’re damn good at it and now I know why. Now that you’ve come out and explained that you’re an engineer…..well damn. That explains everything, because every single engineer I ever knew during my 32 years in the Army were first and foremost–always–numbers guys from the get-go. Glad they were, too, since my troops had to trust their work. Been on a lot of staffs c ’em, all the way up to Corps level. Can’t help it, that’s the way they’re put together, so it’s no accident they chose that profession. Not going to reveal my profession, it’s irrelevant, but it’s one that appreciates the hell out of the role of numbers too. Just that numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Just built that way, and learned it as well from many experiences. Thanks for sharing, I get you now. Just lay off the family members, bud, no matter how offensive they might be!

      • I’m a numbers guy too. This is a weak hire that will give us 8-4 seasons and 20th-ranked recruiting classes. Mullen is a better coach than MacElwain, true. Not saying much there. We will get a HUGE upgrade at OC since Mullen actually knows offense – true. Hope he brings a good DC with him. But Stricklin knee-jerking into this panic hire paying a middle-of-pack coach Saban money is ludicrous. Mullen just isn’t anywhere near that good on paper. I go with the engineer’s philosophy – if it isn’t on paper, it didn’t happen. We’re stuck with this now thanks to this administration, so here’s to hoping for the best Mr. Mullen show us how good you can be at Florida.

  47. For all the Mullen haters, do you remember he had Miss State ranked #1 at one point two years ago? Miss State freaking #1!! His teams gave Bama fits in most of its games. Give him time and he will have UF among the elite.

  48. Good luck, Dan. Bringing the spread back to Florida should be music to all of our ears. After 7 years of unimaginative, pro-style offenses with 3 star offensive recruits, changing back to the spread is a first, major step in getting things moved in the right direction again. With that type of offense, you don’t need a squad full of 5-stars to move the ball. And, we’re not gonna have a crop of 5-stars for the next 2 or 3 years. Remember, the guys we had this year will largely be the same group of guys we have to suit up with next year, with the possible exception of one or two uniquely talented freshmen that come out of this next class. If Kelly or Frost didn’t want the job, Mullen is about one of 4 or 5 guys I would have been equally happy with. He knows the program, the expectations, and don’t forget the guy walked away from a program where he could have been a lifer making north of $5 million a year. That takes brass. Give the guy a chance. Comparing him to Zook or McElwain is an unfair comparison. They were in way over their head. Bad hires from the get go. And say what you want about Will. He didn’t do offense, that’s for sure. But I am not sure there are 2 other guys in college football not named Nick who can recruit and coach defense like he does. This is gonna be a project guys, and it’s not gonna get fixed overnight. At least I know one thing for sure. When it’s 3rd and 4, we won’t be running any more tailback tosses to the short side of the field. And, for that alone, I am eternally grateful.

  49. Dan Mullen was my choice for HC from the get go. He proved himself here at UF as our former OC, and before that at Utah. He has since piloted MSU in the toughest division in college football – the western division of the SEC. His MSU team nearly beat Bama this year. He is definitely a QB coach which will help the Gators greatly in not only coaching up the QBs we have, but attracting top-notch QBs to the program. I do believe the Gator Nation needs to be respectful and give our new HC time to bring the Gator football program back to its former championship status. Coach Mullen can and will do this in 2-3 years (where we contend for the SEC title), and for the national title (playoffs) in 4-5 years. Therefore, we need to give him five years of unwavering support. I am happy for the Gator Nation and the Gator football team. Those three young recruits who decommitted may want to reconsider their decisions now. It is still very early in the recruiting season and other top prospects may now become interested in joining the Gators at the ground floor level, becoming part of the rebuilding process. GO GATORS, AND THANK YOU COACH MULLEN!!!

  50. I am certain Dan Mullen is a very good football coach, but you need more than that to win big at Florida. If he can’t recruit at a high level then I think he will fail. And if he fails I’d hope they send Mullen and Stricklin packing. I believe Stricklin didn’t want to drag things out so he chose to close the search. I believe he should have thought this through a little bit more before he jumped at what he believes to be the sure thing.

  51. Great hire & WELCOME Coach Dan Mullen! Great to have you back in the O&B. OH MY how we’ve missed your offense in Gville. Hope Coach keeps alot of the defensive coaches, esp Coach Shannon & Coach Rumph if possible. I’d expect several changes on the staff but we’ll see. Great to get Coach Mullen hired prior to the early signing period. He’ll be able to talk to a lot of recruits shortly. Very happy to see Coach Mullen back bringing professionalism, accountability & class to our program. Go Gators!!!

  52. This was a great hire. His offense has had success in the SEC. He’s done a great job at a very hard place to win. He has a better record than the Gators over the last 8 years, and that’s playing in the SEC West not the watered down SEC East. We’ve had better recruiting classes every year than MSU, sometimes by 30-40 spots and they still out performed us.

    It’s reported that he was going to take the Tennessee job before Florida came calling. Imagine if that happened where would we be? We’d be Tennessee right now freaking out over a reach hire. There is no guarantee that Norvell, Taggart, Fuentes, or any of the other guys was going to leave or come here and I don’t necessarily think any of those guys are an improvement over Mullen.

    I was also excited about Kelly or Frost, but they didn’t want to come here. Even if we threw money at them, how long would they stay. We got a guy who is still young and wants to be here. If he stayed 9 years at Starkville, there is no reason to think if we treat him fairly and he has success that he won’t stay at least as long here.

    Welcome back home to the Gators, Coach Mullen.

    • He has won 4 more games than us since 2010.
      4.more.games

      Not a single recruit blowing up Twitter. Only SOS, Tebow, DW.
      They were ALL tweaking over Kelly. Last minute, fall back hire.

      He will get us back to 9 wins yearly. Sad that I’m thankful for that. Not worth the $$ though.

  53. The hiring of Mullen will not move Florida Football from where it has fallen. Everyone is so excited about this hire, but I’m trying to figure out what’s so impressive about Mullen’s offense at Miss. State?! I still don’t understand how Stricklin failed miserably on closing a deal with Chip Kelly, considering the fact that Chip Kelly was a free agent and Jim Mora was still the head coach at UCLA when Florida fired McElwain. How was a deal not finalized with Kelly? It’s not like he was coaching and Stricklin had to wait until the season ended. UCLA nor Mullen should’ve never been in the equation, because a deal should’ve been finalized with Kelly before there was an opening at UCLA. Recruits aren’t going to line up to play for Mullen, because his offense isn’t the “razzle dazzle” type of offense. Sure Mullen looked good at UF as and offensive coordinator, but keep in mind, he had two generation players in Percy Harvin & Tim Tebow. Apparently Florida is content with hiring mediocre football coaches as lately (e.g. MuschUmp, McElwain & Mullen) and it looks like Florida is certainly turning to Starksville to get all of their people (first Stricklin, now Mullen), which I’m not really sure why, because it’s not like Starksville is “Winnersville, USA.” I don’t see Florida being a playoff team any time soon under Mullen….Florida will fall somewhere between 7-9 wins, and in a good season, they may hit 10 wins. Sorry for those of you in love with Mullen, but I don’t get excited about a guy who’s 33-39 in the SEC. Good luck with Mullen out recruiting Jimbo Fisher, Mark Richt & Kirby Smart (who’s also taking players out of FL).

      • Cory, that’s when you make him an offer that he can’t refuse. Do you want Florida to win again or are you content with possibly winning a bad SEC East back to back years like McElwain, only to go to the SEC Championship game to get embarrassed by Bama. So what makes Mullen’s resume better than Strong??? I’d certainly take Strong over Mullen…his resume is certainly better. How many BCS bowl games have Mullen won because Strong beat our Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl when he was Louisville. And at least I know Charlie Strong is going to bring in 4 and 5 star players. Oh, and you asked for better candidates, here’s a few…Gary Patterson, Chris Peterson, Brian Kelly, Justin Fuente, and Dabo Swinney. Sure Swinney probably says no, but it doesn’t hurt to make the phone call.

  54. Kelly was a bases-empty home run hire. Mullen is a bases-loaded triple. Kelly took a loaded Oregon program and kept it near or at the top of a very weak PAC 10. Mullen was the genius we wrongly believed Urban Meyer to be. MULLEN was the engineer of “Meyer’s” ingenious offenses at both Utah and Florida. Mullen got sick of Meyer getting all the credit (and money) for Mullen’s innovations and he left. When he left, Urban’s program started circling the drain almost immediately. Urban knows how to pick loaded programs the success for which he can take credit.

    It was also Mullen who produced Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, Nick Fitzgerald, and even Cam Newton. Kelly? Not sure. Scott Frost was the architect and engineer of Kelly’s offenses and Kelly’s QB whisperer. When Frost left, so did the “Ws” for Oregon. Frost also did not follow Kelly to the NFL and what happened there?

    Mullen understands the SEC, knows exactly what is required to win in the nation’s most competitive conference. Kelly does not. Mullen took a perennial loser in Mississippi State and turned it into a very respectable program in the toughest division of the college game’s most competitive conference. Kelly has never done anything of the kind.

    Kelly may have been a PR “home run”, but the Mullen hire emptied the bases and will bring Florida AT LEAST one NC. I would not bet $5.00 that Kelly will ever win a championship. Mullen could be our coach for the next 12 years and win several NC’s.

    Good work team AD and Coach Mullen!

  55. Another 5 years in mediocrity. 8-4 year after year. The fact he was wanting to coach TN says it all. He can’t beat Saban or Gus so jumps to the east. Don’t give me the Starkville bs, winning solves all that. Georgia will also own us yearly, because our AD can’t close.