Friday, November 17, 2017
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Dan Mullen

RECOMMENDED READING


We're still days (probably weeks) away from the Florida Gators naming their next head coach. That gives us plenty of time to examine some potential candidates to replace Jim McElwain. This is the first in a series, and we'll order it by Bovada's betting odds. First up….

Dan Mullen

Mississippi State head coach

Age: 45

Odds he's UF's next head coach (per Bovada): 9/2

Why he makes sense: Mullen has the most plentiful and obvious ties. He was an assistant for the Gators from 2005-08, so he knows the program and how to recruit this state. Although Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin didn't hire Mullen, Stricklin was Mullen's boss in Starkville. "I enjoyed working with Dan, and I think he would probably say the same…" Stricklin said the day McElwain and UF parted ways. "He's done a really nice job there. And as an alum of that school, I'm proud of the job he's done at my alma mater."

Mullen was the SEC's 2014 coach of the year in the brutal SEC West, at a program without a history of success. His team is in the top 20, and Mullen has led the Bulldogs to a pair of top-15 finishes; Mississippi State had only accomplished that feat three times before Mullen.

He also fits two other keys for UF: Mullen is an offensive mind – check out all these school offensive records he has broken – and he can develop quarterbacks. Mullen helped make Tim Tebow a legend. Before Dak Prescott became the Dallas Cowboys' starter, he worked under Mullen (and took Mississippi State to No. 1 in the country). Mullen turned Nick Fitzgerald from a two-star prospect into one of the SEC's top quarterbacks. That's huge at a program that hasn't developed a great quarterback since Tebow.

Why he might not work: The buzz around Gainesville is that Mullen didn't burn bridges at UF, but he might need to mend them before he could return. He and Stricklin got along fine but probably won't go on vacations together, if that tells you anything about their working relationship. Stricklin wasn't just the AD at Mississippi State; he's an alumnus. Would he want to poach his alma mater's successful head coach? Mullen's name has popped up in several other previous vacancies (including Miami). There's probably a reason he didn't get those jobs.

Final thoughts: Mullen seems like a great fit, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he took this solid season as an opportunity to leave Starkville (maybe for Tennessee, if UF doesn't work out). He's a safe hire, although I'm not sure how much he'll energize a program that needs a jolt. Mullen deserves to be mentioned among the candidates, but I'm not sure he's the favorite.

Comments
USF freshman receiver Kevaughn Dingle arrested

USF freshman receiver Kevaughn Dingle arrested

USF freshman WR Kevaughn Dingle was arrested by campus police late Friday morning on a felony sexual-battery charge.An 18-year-old from Miami being redshirted this season, Dingle remains in jail on no bond, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff's ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Here’s how USF still can host the AAC title game.

Here’s how USF still can host the AAC title game.

Now that USF has survived its senior night scare from Tulsa, the Bulls' postseason scenario is fairly clear.But for those still struggling to find the clarity, we're breaking it down for you one last time.First, next Friday's game at UCF (9-0, 6-0) w...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Mike Norvell

Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Mike Norvell

No matter what rumors you're seeing on Twitter, we're still days (maybe weeks) away from the Florida Gators naming their next head coach. That gives us plenty of time to examine some potential candidates to replace Jim McElwain. Next u...
Published: 11/16/17
American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 12

American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 12

Some clear front-runners have emerged entering the final furlong of the American Athletic Conference division races. Memphis captures the West with a win Saturday at home against SMU, while UCF and USF need only defeat Temple and Tulsa, respectively,...
Published: 11/16/17
USF seniors recall highs, lows of improbable college journey

USF seniors recall highs, lows of improbable college journey

Shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, more than 20 USF seniors will take one final, tear-inducing trot onto the Raymond James Stadium turf, and into the waiting arms of loved ones.In a sense, that short jog will represent the final steps of a surreal, sober...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17
Amid criticism, USF’s Sterlin Gilbert says time needed to master offense

Amid criticism, USF’s Sterlin Gilbert says time needed to master offense

Though most coaches prefer to insulate themselves from cyberspace during the season, Bulls offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert clearly has caught wind of the criticism heaped on his power-based, push-the-tempo system.On Wednesday, he responded to i...
Published: 11/15/17
Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Willie Taggart

Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Willie Taggart

We're still days (probably weeks) away from the Florida Gators naming their next head coach. That gives us plenty of time to examine some potential candidates to replace Jim McElwain. Next up (ordered by Bovada's betting odds)…Wi...
Published: 11/15/17
USF poised for record-shattering night Thursday

USF poised for record-shattering night Thursday

Roughly 20 minutes prior to Thursday evening's Tulsa-USF game, almost certainly the Bulls' 2017 home finale, 23 senior players will be recognized.By night's end, a few of them could be immortalized.A handful of seniors are the cusp of breaking USF of...
Published: 11/14/17
Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Chip Kelly

Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Chip Kelly

We're still days (probably weeks) away from the Florida Gators naming their next head coach. That gives us plenty of time to examine some potential candidates to replace Jim McElwain. I intended to list these all by Bovada's betting od...
Published: 11/14/17
USF-UCF game set for 3:30 kickoff on ABC

USF-UCF game set for 3:30 kickoff on ABC

The Black Friday showdown between No. 23 USF and No. 14 UCF will kick off at 3:30 p.m. at Orlando's Spectrum Stadium, and will be televised nationally by ABC, the American Athletic Conference announced Monday.The Nov. 24 contest is expected to determ...
Published: 11/13/17