The Dan Mullen era in Florida is over.
Based on much report, Florida parted ways with Mullen, who took over as coach at Gainesville in 2018. The final turning point in the disappointing 2021 campaign came on Saturday, when the Gators lost 24-23 at Missouri in half. extra. That was followed by a lousy performance in Week 11, in which Florida beat FCS 3-5 opponent Samford 70-52. The Bulldogs scored 42 points in the inning, the most by a Florida defense surrendered in the show’s history.
Florida special teams coordinator/coordinator Greg Knox will serve as interim coach against Florida State on Saturday.
Sporting News shares Mullen’s departure from Florida, and what’s next for the team and coach:
Why did Florida fire Dan Mullen?
Florida has started the 2021 season pretty well, going 3-1 with only a 31-29 defeat before-No. 1 Alabama. Things quickly unraveled from there, with the Gators losing five of their next six SEC games; The only win was a 42-0 win over Vanderbilt, one of only three SEC teams that have yet to qualify well (LSU and Florida are the other two).
Among the highlights from that stretch was a 20-13 loss to Kentucky, the Gators’ first loss at Lexington since 1986. Florida had a 31-year winning streak against the Wildcats before Mullen drew 2-2 against Kentucky from 2018-21 . Gators also dropped 49-42 against LSU, a similar team get rid of its trainer in Ed Orgeron and needed a win against Texas A&M in Week 13 to qualify for the tournament.
The 34-7 loss to Georgia in Week 9 was bad enough, but only worse after Mullen mocking a recruitment question Monday after the game. It was made to look even worse in Week 10, when South Carolina, then 4-4 in the season, completely blinded the Gators in a 40-17 defeat. The last game against Samford was almost lousy – Mullen told reporters “calling a disappointing win a disrespect to the game” – but the final point was the loss to Missouri.
After his team’s win over Florida, Missouri’s sophomore year coach, Eli Drinkwitz, taunted Mullen with a “Star Wars” reference after Mullen dressed up as Darth Vader after his five-win. before the Tigers.
The Gators have won national titles as recently as 2006 and 2008, but have struggled to once again reach the heights of the Urban Meyer-Tim Tebow era. Mullen is expected to be the coach capable of bringing Florida back to that level. As a head coach at Mississippi State, he led the Bulldogs to their first #1 in the College Soccer League.
Indeed, Mullen began her Florida tenure with 10-3 and 11-2 records in 2018 and ’19, respectively. Both seasons are limited by 6 bowls of Thang Co on Tet holiday in the Dao and Orange bowls. The Gators are also close to reaching the challenge for the College Soccer League in 2020, before the infamous shoe-toss case got them a win over LSU and took them out of the knockout round. The Gators followed with a 52-46 defeat to eventual national champion Alabama in the SEC championship game. Florida ended 2020 ranked 13th nationally after a defeat in the Cotton Bowl.
Mullen has been 34-15 in four years at Florida, but has won 2-9 in his last 11 games. Every Brett McMurphy of the Action Network, only Vanderbilt (0-11), Arizona (1-10) and Kansas (1-10) had more severe stretch marks.
Contract Dan Mullen
Just last season, Mullen signed a three-year extension to keep him in Florida until 2026. In his contract, he was set to earn $7.6 million per year.
According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel, Mullen acquired $12 million. That number is not expected to decrease in 2022.
That probably explains why Florida is willing to switch from a fourth-year coach instead of giving him another year.
How long has Dan Mullen been in Florida?
Mullen took over as head coach at Florida in 2018, making the 2021 season his fourth year at Gainesville. He was previously offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Gators from 2005-08. With the layoffs reported, Mullen is the third Florida coach in a row to have failed to keep his job for more than four seasons.
His predecessor, Jim McElwain, lived for three years in Gainesville. Before him, Will Muschamp lasted only 4 seasons. The last such coach to outlast was Meyer, who coached the Gators for six seasons from 2005-10 before retiring from college football for a year.