Florida, Mullen working through contract extension

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Florida coach Dan Mullen listens during a news conference Sunday for the Orange Bowl in Fort Lauderdale. Florida plays Virginia in the Orange Bowl on Monday. (AP Photo/Mario Houben)

After going 21-5 and leading the Florida Gators to consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games in his first two seasons in Gainesville, head football coach Dan Mullen is due a raise and a contract extension. He’s going to get both. It’s just a matter of when now.

 UF athletic director Scott Stricklin said last week that he’s been in discussions with Mullen’s agent about a contract extension, but does not have a timetable for closing the deal.

 “I don’t know,” Stricklin said. “I expect Dan to be here a long time.”

 There were indications from Stricklin and Mullen at the end of the 2019 regular season in December that a contract extension and raise would be coming for Mullen.

 At that time Mullen’s name had come up as a possible candidate for several NFL jobs, mainly Dallas, where the Cowboys’ quarterback is Dak Prescott, who Mullen coached and developed at Mississippi State.

 Mullen said he was flattered by the perceived interest from the NFL and considered it a compliment, but had no intention of leaving UF at this stage of his coaching career.

 “I know what I have here,” Mullen said in December. “I love being here. I think we’re building a championship program here.

 “I know how it works here. I like it here. I don’t want to make it sound too big, but you’re kind of the owner, GM, Vice President and head coach (in college). I’ve got a lot of control here. You’re in control of everything. That’s why everybody looks at it and knows the situation we’re in, knows the type of program this is. This is not a place you’re looking to leave.”

 Mullen is entering the third year of a six-year contract with an annual salary of $6,070,000. He is the 11th highest-paid coach in college football and the sixth-highest in the SEC, behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($8,857,000), Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher ($7,500,000), Ed Orgeron (who agreed to a contract extension valued at more than $7 million per year after LSU won the national title in January), Georgia’s Kirby Smart ($6,827,589) and Auburn’s Gus Malzahn ($6,827,589).

 The last time Stricklin bumped a football coaches’ salary came in June of 2017, when a year was added to Jim McElwain’s contract and he was given a $196,300 raise up to $4.5 million a year.

  The question in Mullen’s case seems to be whether this is going to be a one or two-year extension or a long-term commitment between coach and school?  In September 2016, baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan signed a new 10-year contract that made him the nation’s highest-paid college baseball coach with an annual salary of $1.25 million.