#BREAKING: Dan Mullen Announced As Head Coach Of Florida Gators
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCBI/Florida Athletics) – University of Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin announced that Dan Mullen will be the 27th head coach in Florida football history.
Mullen, who spent the past nine seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach (2009-17), returns to Gainesville where he served four seasons (2005-08) as offensive coordinator and was a major factor in the program winning two Southeastern Conference and BCS National Titles (2006, 2008) during his tenure.
“Megan and I are very excited to get back to Gainesville and the University of Florida,” Head Coach Dan Mullen said. “I have such great memories of the championships we won during our time here 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.”
“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 (such as Alex Smith, Chris Leak, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald).
“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.”
“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,” UF President Dr. W. Kent 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.”
Mullen, 45, was honored in 2014 as the national college football coach of the year by the Maxwell Football Club. He also won honors as the SEC Coach of the Year that season. His tenure with the Bulldogs saw the program ascend to a No. 1 ranking during regular season polls and he oversaw participation in a school-record eight consecutive bowl games.
As the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UF prior to joining MSU in 2009, Mullen worked a Heisman Trophy, Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Award-winning quarterback, along with a Rimington Trophy finalist and a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist.
Player development has been a key to Mullen’s coaching career successes. Twenty-two Bulldogs have been chosen in the NFL Draft under Mullen since 2010. Dak Prescott became the highest drafted MSU quarterback in modern NFL Draft history, going in the 2016 fourth round to the Dallas Cowboys.
Prescott joined the following QBs tutored by Mullen who were selected in the NFL Draft: Josh Harris (Bowling Green), Omar Jacobs (Bowling Green), Alex Smith (Utah) and Tim Tebow (Florida).
In the last seven NFL Drafts, the Bulldogs have produced seven first- or second-round picks. In the eight drafts prior to Mullen’s arrival, MSU did not have any.
MSU shattered over 100 individual and team single-game, single-season and career statistical records in Mullen’s nine seasons. Meanwhile, the top seven total offensive seasons’ statistical performances in school history have all occurred in the Mullen era.
Mississippi State (2009-17)
On Dec. 10, 2008, Mullen became the 32nd head coach in MSU history as he took over a program that posted a 32-65 record in the eight years prior to his arrival. Mullen (69-46, .600) finished the 2017 season second in Bulldog history in all-time wins.
In addition, his .600 winning percentage ranked second in MSU annals among those who have coached six or more years.
MSU ranks second in victories since 2014 (33) in the SEC West, one of college football’s toughest divisions, which has produced a national title game finalist in 10 of the last 11 years.
Mullen produced three seasons of at least nine victories in the last nine years, including the school’s first back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2014 and 2015. The program has had four nine-win seasons in its 109 years.
The Bulldogs have the opportunity to reach the nine-win plateau again with their upcoming bowl game.
Bowl games became the norm at State under Mullen’s guidance. Prior to his arrival, the school record for consecutive bowl game appearances was three from 1998-2000. MSU is currently on a stretch of a school-record eight straight bowl appearances with its most recent triumph coming against Miami (Ohio) in the 2016 St. Petersburg Bowl. No other coach has been to more bowl games (seven) or won more bowl games (five) at MSU than Mullen. The Bulldogs are one of five SEC teams to earn a bowl berth every season this decade, and MSU is second in the league in bowl game wins (five) since 2010.
Only six teams have held the No. 1 ranking since the start of the 2014 season – Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and Mississippi State.
No coach in MSU history had ever been a finalist for a national coach of the year honor until Mullen won the Maxwell Football Club’s National Coach of the Year award in 2014. He also was named the Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year award that same fall.
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