New Florida coach Dan Mullen arrives with smile, title ring

Coach that’s been linked to several open jobs makes his intentions known for next year

The Gators were previously a finalist to land Chip Kelly, before he chose the familiarity of a return to the west coast. With the Gators' recent offensive struggles, Dan Mullen could be the answer they have long searched for.

In fact, Mullen may well turn out to have been the better hire, given his track record in the ultra-competitive SEC.

Dan Mullen, head coach at Mississippi State since 2009, is leaving Starkville for Gainesville. He played a substantial role in the college careers of Alex Smith (Utah), Tebow (Florida), Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) and current Mississippi State starter Nick Fitzgerald.

The Florida offense has been beyond anemic, only scoring three offensive touchdowns against a Charles Kelly led FSU defense since 2014. While Kelly's reputation as an offensive guru took a bit of a hit in the National Football League, he promised to help make the Gators more exciting, but Mullen has already proved he can recruit in Florida and succeed in a far less glamorous SEC locale.




"We've built a football program at Mississippi State that has enjoyed unprecedented success over the last nine seasons", said MSU president Mark Keenum. From 2005 to 2008, Mullen's Gator squads never averaged less than 28.6 points per game, while winning two national titles, and they averaged well over 4o in 2007 and 2008.

After a loss in the Egg Bowl to Ole Miss on Friday, Mullen did say he is happy at the school and "plans" to remain the Bulldogs' coach. We have bright young men who proudly represent our program every day in the classroom, community and on the field.

The Gators have a fervent fan base, have one of the nation's top operating budgets ($125 million in 2017-18) and have more than $100 million in facility upgrades planned, including breaking ground on a state-of-the-art structure to house the football program. Ultimately, it's possible that both schools wound up with the right coach, given Kelly's success at Pac-12 rival OR from 2009 to 2012.

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