Late Sunday afternoon, the University of Florida football program announced that they had hired their next head coach. Mississippi State head coach, Dan Mullen, will become the 27th Florida Gators head football coach. Mullen was the head coach for the Mississippi State Bulldogs for just under a decade before Florida hired him. Before Mullen was at MSU, he served as Florida’s offensive coordinator from 2005-2008. In those years, Florida won two national championships and had one of the top offenses in the country led by Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Tim Tebow. Mullen has had a lot of success wherever he’s at and that trend should continue at the University of Florida. Here are three reasons why Dan Mullen was the right hire for the Florida Gators.
History of developing quarterbacks
There’s no mystery why the Florida Gators’ offense has struggling for close to a decade now. The Gators haven’t had any type of solid quarterback play since Tim Tebow left. Dan Mullen could be the man to fix that and why not, he’s developed a lot of really good quarterbacks. At Utah, he was the quarterback coach for Alex Smith, who was the #1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and is the starting QB for the Kansas City Chiefs. At Florida he coached up Tim Tebow and at Mississippi State, he coached up Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald. If there is anybody that can fix the Florida quarterback issues, it’s probably Dan Mullen. The Gators have a five-star QB committed in Matt Corral who is expected to compete for the starting job in spring camp.
Had tons of success in his Florida tenure
In Mullen’s years at Florida, the Gators had some of the best offenses in the country. Mullen had great Florida Gators like Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper, Chris Leak and Aaron Hernandez in his years at Florida. The Gators were ranked #1 in the SEC in win-loss record (44-9), points per game (36.3), yards per play (6.5) and total QBR (77). In the past few years, Florida has won a lot of games but those wins were usually very ugly and were led by a great defensive performances. The University of Florida Athletic Director, Scott Stricklin, said he wanted to make Florida football fun again. Dan Mullen could be the coach that makes Florida football fun again. Gator fans have waiting for a coach to bring Florida back to the glory days. Why not bring in a guy who was there in Florida’s glory days?
The SEC is one of the toughest conferences in all of college football. It is a very physical conference with great teams and elite coaches. Not every coach can make it in the SEC because of how tough it is. Florida needed a coach that knew what it takes to win in the SEC and have a lot of experience in the SEC. There are not many coaches that have coached in the SEC as long as Dan Mullen. He coached at Florida for four seasons and was at Mississippi State for nine seasons. Mullen has coached and won in the SEC for 13 seasons and did it mostly in the SEC West. To go to MSU and win wasn’t an easy task for Mullen because they were always a bad team until he showed up. Could Mullen revive Florida’s football program? Only time will tell.