Dan Mullen doesn’t miss many opportunities to discuss Florida’s improvement on the football field in 2018. Speaking in front of a sold-out crowd prior to the UF basketball team’s match-up against No. 3-ranked Tennessee, Mullen thanked fans for the support during Florida’s 10-3 season, which culminated in a 41-15 victory over Michigan in the Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl on Dec. 29.
“I want to first of all thank all of you. Because I challenged everybody here. It wasn’t just about the coaches, or the players, or Coach (Nick) Savage and the strength staff, or the administration,” Mullen said. “It was about all of us working together. You all bought into that, and you helped lead us to a 10-win season, you helped lead us to a Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl victory. You helped lead us to a No. 6 national ranking, we finished second in the SEC overall and you helped restore that Gator standard.”
With six official visitors in tow, including highly touted defensive back Kaiir Elam, Mullen made sure to greet former UF president Bernie Machen, too, before promising to build on the foundation established in his inaugural season at the helm in Gainesville.
“I know the Gator standard is not being the second-best team in the SEC — it’s about being the first-best team in the SEC. That means it’s a challenge for all of us, a challenge for our players and coaches and everyone in the Gator Nation,” Mullen said. “Next year we’re going to take it to a whole ’nother level.”
Florida signed 21 prospects during the early signing period and will look to add several more prospects on National Signing Day on Feb. 6.
Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin repeated the plans for some of the new facilities on campus: The new baseball stadium will be ready by summer of 2020, then the stand-alone facility for football will be built on the site of McKethan Stadium when it is demolished.