Florida’s 6 best coaching contenders to replace Dan Mullen, from Bill O’Brien to Lane Kiffin

Florida fired coach Dan Mullen on Sunday as the Gators’ disappointing 2021 season nears its end.

ESPN first report After Saturday’s 24-23 loss to Missouri, Mullen’s fifth straight loss to Power 5. Florida is 5-6 and will need to beat Florida State in Week 13 to save qualifying. bad fight. The defeat to FSU would mark the Gators’ first defeat since 2017.

Mullen led the Gators to New Year’s Day six bowls in his first three seasons, and that included a SEC title win in 2020. But a string of bad losses and fights The strange press conference led to another incident in Gainesville, including the 52-point surrender in an almost nasty game by FCS Stamford.

Florida will now be looking for its fourth other coach since Urban Meyer left after the 2010 season. That should attract some interesting candidates in search of stability.

To do that, Florida may want to do what other competing programs in the SEC are doing. Why not target a former assistant to Nick Saban? A number of people are enjoying great success as head coaches in the 2021 season. Four of the seven candidates on this list fit have worked for Saban.

THAN: Every FBS coach fired in 2021

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Bill O’Brien, Alabama offensive coordinator

Saban assistants Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher, and Lane Kiffin have built successful programs in the SEC. O’Brien has thrived as offensive coordinator at Alabama this season, and he’s credited with guiding Penn State through the NCAA’s woeful sanctions. He had a 15-9 record in two seasons with the Nittany Lions. Smart, Fisher and Kiffin have been with Saban longer, but O’Brien seems to be on track to quickly become a coach at FBS again.

Todd Monken, Georgia offensive coordinator

The Florida-Georgia rivalry has intensified since Smart’s takeover, and the Gators were able to make a bold play to get his offensive coordinator. Monken spent four years as an NFL OC with Tampa Bay and Cleveland from 2016-19 and he maintained a balanced attack with the Bulldogs. He had a stint as FBS coach, a somewhat forgettable three-year run with Southern Mississippi that produced a 13-25 record from 2013-15.

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Matt Campbell, Iowa State Coach

Forget the disappointing season at Iowa State. Campbell is a master culture builder. There are not too many coaches who can lead the Cyclones to 5 consecutive bad times. He has the highest win rate in school history and leads the Cyclones to a top 10 finish in 2020. Campbell has been matched for other vacancies for the past few seasons and Florida will be a hit. great in the near future 42 years old. Campbell is a better fit than imagined, and it will be interesting to see what he does with more resources.

Billy Napier, Louisiana Coach

Napier will apply for a job at an SEC school at some point. He went on to win with the Ragin’ Cajuns with a 36-12 record, and he clearly learned from his time as an assistant to Clemson (2006-10) and Alabama (2013-16). Napier, 42, also plays midfield at Furman. Levi Lewis has been one of FBS’s most effective full-backs over the past two seasons. Napier will succeed in Florida, even if he’s not the flashiest name on this list.

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Lane Kiffin, coach of Ole Miss

Can you imagine the viral effects on social media? Kiffin had three successful years at the FAU before taking the job as Miss Ole, and he is a brilliant attacker. Kiffin’s career has changed trajectory since he served as an offensive coordinator from Alabama, and he has an aggressive playstyle cut from the same canvas as the legendary Florida coach. , Steve Spurrier.

James Franklin, Penn State Coach

Why would Florida blame Mullen for Franklin, who has a similar track record at Penn State and is no stranger to the weird press conference? Franklin had two winning seasons in Vanderbilt (2012-13), and he enjoyed steady success with the Nittany Lions. Franklin also recruits at a high level, someone who can do well in the SEC. Franklin is 90-47 between stops at Vanderbilt and Penn State since 2011. Florida is 86-50 in the same stretch. Is that enough of an improvement?

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