Dooley Noted: On Mullen, Pat’s ticked off by ‘lunatic fringe’ among Gator fans


In his last podcast of the year, Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley dives into Florida’s decision to hire Dan Mullen as head football coach.


  1. maybe pat is right, but maybe, the nutjobs and the people that made the trips to the grocery store miserable for mullens wife pissed off mullen just enough to get him to come back and prove to everyone the truth, that mullen is one hell of a coach (as if anything needs proving at all). either way, mullen is free to win by a score of 3 to 2 for me if that’s what it takes. but realistically, give the man time, give the man patience, and give the man appreciation. he doesn’t need our b.s. , trust me the vols would pay him twice the money today…he has had years to go elsewhere, so he wants to be here, the least we can do is to be thankful, grateful, and I for one am pleasantly shocked he is our coach. Welcome back coach mullen.

  2. I know. The meltdown at Gator Chatter is embarrassing.

    None can gone up with a realistic answer to the simple question: “If not Mullen, then who?” (Whom??)

    UF may not be the top 5 program we have all been indoctrinated to believe. Thanks Foley.

  3. As soon as I heard McElwain was fired, I texted my bro that Dan Mullen would be our next head coach, and I am all for it. Mullen may not be a glitzy choice, but he is solid, experienced, and pro Gator all the way. I can see him bringing us back to national prominence. I can see him being grouped with Zook, Muschamp, and McElwain. It depends on who he chooses to fill out his staff and how they recruit and develop players, just like any other program. So support Mullen or hibernate until we are winning again, and then try to get back on the Orange and Blue bandwagon.

  4. Gator for life!!! Enjoyed the presser. It’s nice to hear a Florida coach speak with energy, passion, and sincerity. In life, you can never please everybody. I think Mullen is a great fit and hope he’s successful. Whiners: go up to Knoxville. Things seem to be really good up there (sarcasm).


  5. i wish you would quit harping about the tiny minority of super-critics (the lunatic fringe). We do not need to hear this – we need your support, and you are acting more like a reporter seeking a story no matter what the cost. Give it up – we support our new HC, and will stand by him through thick and thin. I believe I was a Gator fan before you ever became a sports media personality. Please change the subject and stop focusing on the negative. This does us no good and sets the stage for future problems with Gator fans.

    • I second that thought. Write about something else Dooley instead of criticizing our own fans. The fans have are not now, and have never been the problem. The fact that we have fans that actually care and want things to get better for Gator Nation and UF is not a weak point at all. Don’t like the way some of them express themselves? Grow thicker skin. If you want to demonize the fans, just go after the trolls who are fans of other schools that come here to do nothing but harm.

  6. I guess I am a ”lunatic” because I didn’t love this hire, either. The ”THIRD REICH” started by demonizing those ”who don’t think like you”. ”Go to Tennessee and cheer for them”, or ”you must have miserable lives” comments are just as ignorant as they sound! Gator fans are diverse, they’re passionate, and some of us Gator fans have the damn right to be disappointed in a coaching hire. I am hopeful now for Dan Mullen’s career at U.F. But Mullen’s hiring wasn’t nearly as disappointing as how some Gator fans are treating one another. Really sad!

  7. I comment on these blogs not just because I’m a fan…I’m VESTED in UF. Between my daughter’s BS & Masters and my UF degree I feel like I’ve bought UF twice. I also was a multiply seat season ticket holder for 19 seasons. The administration should always be held responsible for their actions like the rest of us WORKING people. They are State employees, spending OUR money.

    Dan Mullen is a solid hire. I liked what he said at the press conference. He didn’t show up in flip-flops. Dan showed up looking and speaking like a professional! It doesn’t now matter what did or didn’t happen last week. Welcome back Dan!

  8. How bout the Sun and other media outlets tied directly to Gator sports simply quit providing a forum for these nut jobs to spew their venom. You get (so called) Gators slandering and hating on each other on these sites. Let these losers create their own amateur forums and see how much exposure they get. This would reduce a lot of the abusive and unnecessary negativity pointed at Gator sports.
    Go gracefully Gators!!

  9. Pat,

    Your complaining about the Florida fans is getting a bit tiresome. You call many of us the “lunatic fringe” and “gidiots” when in fact, we just want Florida football to be fun again. We’re not asking for the world… but we were unwilling to accept the 100+ offenses McElwain put on the field. AND YET, you defended him after every unsustainable win. We saw the reality… the wins were a mirage created by Muschamp’s strong defensive recruits.

    The reason we aren’t over the moon for Dan Mullen is because Chip Kelly and Scott Frost are truly special coaches and our administration couldn’t sell Florida over the prospect of $4 million a year at UCLA or a Conference USA team. Like it or not, that is a failure for Stricklin.

    Now, having said all that. I was really impressed with Mullen today. Great press conference. And he truly was and is a great gator. My concern as a member of the “lunatic fringe” isn’t his dedication or passion. It’s the fact that I’ve rooted for him at Miss State for the last nine years and seen his teams totally not show up any time the game gets too big.

    That’s a real concern. And I pray Mullen proves me wrong. But it doesn’t make me a lunatic for being worried about it.

    • The coaches you mention were not willing to deal with the pressure or our entitled spoiled fans. Who is to blame for that? Perhaps a man who knows about that and still embraces the challenge is what we need.

    • Pumpers pushing their chests out… time will ultimately crush ever single one of them… just like butters and muschimps… personally don’t give a $hit what they have to say – 31 years as a season ticket holder/booster plus 10 years of listening to Otis Boggs – gives me the right to tell them to shove it if they don’t care for my message.

  10. Great Podcast Pat. If Coach Mullen can develop a good quarterback who can throw the ball to the right colored jersey I’ll be happy. Good luck with your surgery. My wife has had both of her knees replaced. She plays tennis 3 times a week. It’s all in the rehab.

  11. Hi Pat, would it be possible to simply turn off this chat site? You do not owe anyone a public forum. Let these people create their own venues. They can create their own websites or can talk about how unhappy they are over drinks with their friends. You are in no way obliged to allow anyone and everyone to vent their wacky ideas on your own well-respected site. I do not mind being silenced myself. Just turn it off.

  12. Thanks Pat. I enjoy all of your work. You are fair (not hateful) and are truly an asset to the Sun and Gatorsports! Wishing you all the best with your surgery and I also believe you will return to true form with strong dedication to your rehab program.
    Very excited about our new coach. Think he will make our guys tough once again. Soft play will be in the past. His presser today exceeded all of my expectations. Not sure what I expected to hear, just thought it was good stuff! Go Gators

  13. Sub .500 record against SEC foes.
    Worst winning percentage against ranked teams when his team is ranked (<14%)
    Not a single recruiting class in the Top 30 in his 9 years @ MSU
    One season with 9 wins in his 9 season @ MSU
    Loses to South Alabama @ home in season opener just last year.
    Additional loses to Kentucky and BYU with only a 1 point win again Miami of Ohio just last year.
    Has signed 3 5* recruits in his entire 9 years @ MSU
    Has only won 60% of his games in 8 seasons @ MSU (Urban had won 90%+ prior to coming to UF) This is a horrible winning percentage for a $6M/year coach.
    2 Seasons out of 9 he has had a winning record in the SEC

    These are the facts. No opinion, just facts. These stats qualified Dan to be the next head coach at UF which means there are about 20+ coaches more qualified to lead this program based on the analytics of his performance over the last nine years. If feeling that we settled based on these facts means I an a lunatic, well at least I am a lunatic that understands the qualifications of the person UF just hired.

    • “Not a single recruiting class in the Top 30 in his 9 years @ MSU”
      Not true. He started out – technically – struggling with recruiting. But he showed marked improvement in his last 5 classes.
      A. This is as MSU – a recruiting desert where they typically pull in classes in the 40s-60s.
      B. That is without recruiting the state of Florida where most of the top recruits are.
      C. His record in the SEC-West was WAAAAAYYYY better than UFs would have been. And he did this with less talent.
      2013 – 26
      2014 – 37
      2015 – 16
      2016 – 34
      2017 – 27

      • And how about bowl appearances:
        20 total bowl trips(1st = 1936) – 7 under Mullen(21 and 8 if you count 2017). So MSU had 13 in about 105-110 yeas. Mullen had 7 in 8 years.
        12 total bowl wins(1st = 1940) – 5 under Mullen. MSU: 7 in 105-110 years. Mullen 5 in 8 years.

        • Here is MSU bowl records – Judge for yourself the quality of these:

          01-01-2011 – MSU 52 vs Michigan 14 Gator Bowl (WIN)
          12-30-2011 – MSU 23 vs Wake Forest 17 Music City Bowl (WIN)
          01-01-2013 – MSU 20 vs Northwestern 34 Gator Bowl (LOST)
          12-31-2013 – MSU 44 vs Rice 7 Liberty Bowl (WIN)
          12-31-2014 – MSU 34 vs Georgia Tech 49 Orange Bowl (LOST)
          12-30-2015 – MSU 51 vs NC State 28 Belk Bowl (WIN)
          12-26-2016 – MSU 17 vs Miami (OH) 16 St. Petersburg Bowl (WIN)

  14. Chip Kelly wanted no part of the SEC or the Gator fervor and opted for the safer and more comfortable UCLA.
    Scott Frost is very successful at UCF, but again, the SEC and the Gator job are a different breed altogether. It would be recruiting against the best coaches in college football. Nebraska would be safer and more comfortable even though it’s in the middle of nowhere.
    Dan Mullen really wants to be the Gator HC. If he can recruit better than before as an OC, things could get interesting and exciting very quickly. He needs a killer staff who know how to both recruit and develop the players into a winning team. Here’s hoping……..

    • I tend to agree. That, and the UF UAA and Stricklin weren’t willing to give him all the power he wanted over the football program too. Kelly wants to go to UCLA and win some games and use tham as a spring board to the NFL again. He’ll be gone from there within three years imo.

      Frost just had other plans. Things is, if they don’t want to come here, you can’t MAKE them come.

      The Mullen hire is actually for the best imo.

  15. Pat,
    Most people aren’t impressed by Mullen’s lack of accomplishments, if you need stats and I believe you do, I”ll provide them, one is, and its a big one( Dan Mullen the worst record vs. AP ranked team ALL-Time). You were the last clown saying the Coach Mac needed a chance and we should all let him be. He put the University at the Bottom while you sat in press conferences kissing his butt. So now you’re at it again telling Gators to sit back and quit posting true comments. Accepting mediocre Coaches has ran its course around here. If UF can’t afford a good coach, tell everyone Foley blew all the money on Gymnastics or an overpaid Soccer coach that hasn’t won a Natty since her big raise. But for the love being a Gator quit telling people to stop speaking the truth. Really, you are right there with the rest of the Fake News, calling people names when they don’t share you half wit opinion. Football is dying sport and perhaps Strickland sees that and hired his friend. But he didn’t hire the best person for the job and that says a lot about Strickland.

    Go Gators and Go Coach White

  16. GREAT podcast! Your summary of the Mullin hire and the fan reaction are spot on. I always enjoy your perspective. I also appreciate your comments regarding Jeremy and the non-football sports. It’s amazing to me that people are now critical of Jeremy, who built the best athletic department in the country and left a legacy of championship sports that established the Gator brand everyone talks about. Well Done and quick recovery!!

  17. Coach Mullen was in my top 5 of who I wanted at UF, and I’m extremely happy with the pick, and in the long run, I will guarantee you that Mullen will win a NC at UF before Chip does at UCLA. He’ll also have nore higher ranked recruiting classes at UF than Kelly at UCLA too. Why do I say this? Because Mullen has staying power and is not looking at the NFL, and Kelly will be gone from UCLA in 3 years imo.

    Mullen “gets it” about UF. He knows the underlying potential here, he understands what is expected.

    I love the hire.

    Go get ’em Coach Mullen! And beat the crap out of fsu next year too!

  18. Great stuff Pat. Agreed on almost all points. I do believe Mullen was MSU’s best recruiter in decades. So I don’t think we need to be as concerned about his recruiting abilities. However, I DO agree that Strong would have been a better choice for UF. He is by far the best at recruiting the state of Florida. Texas was a bad fit for Strong(like Miami for Saban). He would have been VERY successful at UF. I can’t help but think that race is a factor – just being honest,.

    Basketball: I believe that 2 of our better players are out, recovering from injuries. I think we expect to get them back in January/February. So we took the #1 team in the country to the end without being at full strength? … I’ll take that.

  19. Hate to be a “lunatic”, but I’m not thrilled with Dan Mullen. I’m fine with his character, the type of program he’ll run, and his supposedly aloof personality. I like that he’s an experienced SEC head coach and that he wants to be a Gator, and I’m happy that we now have a coach who can make coherent statements to the media. However, my concern is that Mullen is the architect of a passing game that currently produces 9 yards/game LESS than the Gators averaged with Franks behind center. How will that put the “fun” back in the UF offense?

    He may be able to improve the running game and total offense, and if a run-heavy offense wins games, wins the East, and makes us competitive in Atlanta, I’m in. If he does that, he’ll put the “fun” back in Florida football, if not the offense. At this point, style doesn’t matter; I just want to win, and if he can do that, I’m in no matter what the offense looks like on the field.

    But Pat’s assertions that Mullen “developed” Chris Leak into a good QB and that his offenses were the best ever at UF are revisionist history at best and sheer “lunacy” at worst. Leak passed for more yards and TD’s in his freshman and sophomore years (combined) under Ed Zaunbrecher and Larry Fedora than he did in his two years under Mullen. He was already a good QB. Mullen’s best yardage producing offense in 2007 doesn’t crack the top five in yards/game, and his best scoring offense in 2008 is only good for fourth in points/game.

    Mullen’s offenses at UF were good, but certainly not the best in UF history, and not even close to the best passing offenses at UF. In fact, in his first two seasons, the offense was actually worse in both yards/game and points/game than the previous two seasons under Zaunbrecher and Fedora.

    What Mullen has proven is that he can “develop” a QB into a pretty good running back. If that wins us championships I’m all in, but I don’t think a QB who’s a better runner than passer is what most Gator fans are hoping for.