Dan Mullen fired as Florida Gators football coach. Who will replace him? Here's what we know.

Dan Rorabaugh
Gator Sports
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Dan Mullen has been fired as Florida Gators football coach.

ESPN was the first to report Mullen would not be coaching the Gators in their regular-season finale Nov. 27 against rival Florida State.

The Gators lost in overtime 24-23 at Missouri on Saturday. It was the Gators' fourth straight SEC loss, and they are 2-6 in the SEC in the 2021 season.

Mullen was 34-15 over nearly four seasons in Gainesville. Greg Knox, Gators running backs coach and special teams coordinator, will take over as interim head coach.

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin spoke to the media at 3 p.m. Sunday. 

A look back at Mullen era:Here are the Florida Gators' 5 best and worst games since 2018

Florida's next football coach:Bob Stoops should top Gators' wish list | David Whitley

Coaching search:Who will be the Florida Gators' next head football coach? Here's a potential list of candidates.

Why did Dan Mullen get fired?

The Gators got off to a 2-0 start and lost a close game to then-No. 1 Alabama. But after beating Tennessee the following week, Florida's only wins came against 2-9 Vanderbilt and FCS opponent Samford. 

The Gators trailed 42-35 at halftime against Samford before eventually winning 70-52 behind a career day for quarterback Emory Jones. The 42 points were the most the Gators had ever allowed in a half, and that came a week after Mullen fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

The Gators were blown out against rival Georgia and at 6-5 South Carolina in consecutive weeks.

Other controversies:Mullen clarifies recruiting comments, decision to cancel media for Florida players

David Whitley:Dan Mullen saga with Florida Gators is a cautionary tale for next football coach hiring

Greg Knox, UF's interim head coach

Greg Knox is Florida's running backs coach and special teams coordinator. He came with Mullen from his previous job at Mississippi State in January 2018. 

Knox led Mississippi State to a win in the TaxSlayer Bowl at the end of the 2017 season after Mullen left for the Gators job.

Before that, he was an assistant coach at Auburn and Ole Miss. He was the wide receivers coach when Auburn went undefeated in 2004.

Hear from interim coach:Greg Knox discusses interim role, what went wrong with Gators in 2021

Florida Gators' next football coach

There are several names rumored as targets in Florida's coaching search.

Lane Kiffin, the head coach at Ole Miss, brought attention to Florida Atlantic in his time there and still owns a home in Boca Raton. Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who is now a TV analyst, was the Gators' defensive coordinator under Steve Spurrier. Other high-profile names include Mississippi State's Mike Leach, Oregon's Mario Cristobal, Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Penn State’s James Franklin and Louisiana’s Billy Napier.

Opinion:Florida fired Dan Mullen because he gave Gators no other choice | Toppmeyer

Earlier Sunday:Mullen, Stricklin talked about program's future

The final game:Gators fall in OT at Mizzou, finish winless in SEC road games for first time since 1986

Dan Mullen's buyout

The Gators will pay Mullen a $12 million buyout spread over seven installments, with a $6 million payout coming within 30 days. Mullen will then get $1 million every July 15 through 2027. He received a raise to $7.6 million in salary this year and a contract extension through 2026

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