Video: Dan Mullen Introduced at University of Florida as New Head Coach

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCBI/UF Athletics) – He stepped off the private jet from Starkville, Miss., and touched down on Florida pavement at 11:05 a.m. Forty-five minutes later, Gators head coach Dan Mullen plopped down in a leather chair behind his new desk at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Florida’s three national championship trophies rested on a shelf behind him.

“I already have pictures with two of those,” said Mullen, Florida’s offensive coordinator when the Gators won national titles in 2006 and 2008.

That’s the Mullen swagger Florida fans remember. Mullen will be introduced Monday afternoon as the 27th head coach in school history at his introductory press conference. The University Athletic Association announced Mullen’s hiring Sunday night.

A throng of media and Gator fans greeted Mullen and his wife, Megan, and their kids, 8-year-old Canon and 5-year-old Breelyn, when they arrived in town. On the drive from the airport to campus, Megan pointed out new and old places to the kids, who were not born when Dan and Megan called Gainesville home.

The 45-year-old Mullen can’t wait to get started after going 69-46 in nine seasons at Mississippi State.

“I feel completely renewed,” he said. “It’s your first day on the job. The excitement, the energy that you are going to bring with all of that, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to get after it. It’s a great challenge for us and just the renewal of energy, you just feel the adrenaline flowing through your veins.”

Megan is excited for a fresh chapter as well. The couple met when Dan was a Bowling Green assistant on Urban Meyer’s staff in the early 2000s and Megan was a local TV reporter.

“It’s just totally surreal and awesome to bring our two babies back and see how much life has changed and for him to have this opportunity,” Megan said. “It’s so just special for him. He’s earned it and I’m just so proud of him and happy.”

A lot has changed since the Mullens left, most notably the team’s record. The Gators finished 4-7 this season and are not going to a bowl game for the second time in five seasons.

Mullen is ready to get started and rebuild the Gators into the program he served from 2005-08 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“Florida is the premier football program in the country. You’re top five. This is the premier football program and the opportunity to come lead it, the opportunity to come and win championships is something you dream of your whole life as a coach,” he said. “The most important thing we’ve got to get going is recruiting.”

One of Mullen’s first tasks Monday was to meet the staff and team. He has a team meeting scheduled for 2 p.m.

“I want to meet with the team and get them to understand the expectations and standards of where I’m going to be at. I want to finish up final exams strong and tell them to make sure they go home and get a rest,” he said. “When they get back, they better be ready to work when they get back in January.”

Categories: College Sports, Local Sports

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