College football is a cruel mistress. Once seen as one of the up and coming coaches in the NCAA, Dan Mullen is out as Florida head coach. After four seasons, Mullen has not led the Gators program to the standards that fans and the athletic department expect.
Gone are the days of Urban Meyer and Tim Tebow. The last three coaches since then have been Will Muschamp, Jim McElwain, and of course, Mullen. Sources are saying he’s out and the school in moving on. During that time, only Mullen was able to produce back-to-back double-digit win seasons. There is an expectation at the University of Florida and each of these coaches has fallen short. However, last night was the nail in the coffin for the Mullen era in Gainsville.
In a loss to Missouri, Florida fell to 5-6 on the season and 2-6 in the SEC. The last time the Gators won only two conference games was back in 1986 under Galen Hall. That team finished 2-4 in the SEC. This season, it seemed that the wheels just fell off. Despite a 10 win season in 2018 and an 11 win season in 2019, it has gone downhill in the last two seasons. Losing to teams like Kentucky and Missouri is just not what the Gators expect.
Mullen tried to do damage control, after giving up 52 points to Samford last week on November 13, by firing his defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Despite that, Florida just couldn’t get it done in Columbia, MO. Now, they are set to face off against Florida State in a game that will decide which team gains bowl eligibility. Talk about dramatic.
However, without a head coach or a defensive coordinator, at least not the ones they started the season with, are the Gators going to be ready next week against the Seminoles?
Florida Coach Dan Mullen Stumbles in First Big Promotion
Looking at Dan Mullen’s coaching career, he has been a very effective assistant, working with wide receivers and quarterbacks over the years. When he got to Mississippi State, he built up a program from 2009-2017. That Bulldogs program is now, arguably in a better place than Mullen has left Florida.
Everyone knew in 2014 that Mullen was due a promotion to a bigger program. Starkville is great and all, but Gainesville has the history, the name awareness, and the brand. However, it would take a few more years for Mullen to get that next job. His last four seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs resulted in 33 wins total.
Florida is a place where 8 win seasons don’t cut it. Not to mention, there have been other issues such as recruiting in recent years. If Florida doesn’t recruit at a high level, they simply can’t maintain their high standards of success.