Florida Coaching Target Profile: Dan Mullen

At this point, it's a virtual lock that Will Muschamp won't be in Gainesville for much longer...and with that in mind, we're profiling the targets Florida is lining up to replace him. The Gators aren't going to hire just anyone - a program with UF's history and tradition needs a home run hire, and we're starting off with a guy who most fans would love to see roaming the sidelines in blue and orange.

Dan Mullen Profile:

A native of Drexel Hill, PA, Mullen grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania not far from Philadelphia. Mullen played Tight End at Ursinus College (just a short drive away from his hometown), and was a first-team All Centennial Conference selection in his senior year (1993).

Mullen entered the coaching world immediately after graduation, starting out as a wide receivers coach at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. He moved on to the same position at Columbia in 1996, then served as a graduate assistant at Syracuse and Notre Dame.

After the Notre Dame job, Mullen caught on with Urban Meyer's staff at Bowling Green, forming a successful partnership that lasted through eight years across three schools. As QB coach at Utah, where he followed Meyer after Bowling Green, Mullen gained recognition for tutoring future #1 NFL draft pick Alex Smith. When Meyer was named Florida HC in 2005, he named Mullen his offensive coordinator/QB coach.

As Florida OC, Mullen worked with All-SEC QB Chris Leak and Heisman winner Tim Tebow, impressing enough to get him an interview for the Mississippi State job in 2009.

Mullen's first year in Starkville wasn't easy - the Bulldogs went 5-7 against a punishing schedule - but every year since, they've won at least seven games and made it to a bowl game. 2014 is by far Mullen's best start, with the Dak Prescott-led Bulldogs leading the nation at 7-0.

Key Stats:

42 years old (Born 4/27/1972)

Overall Record: 43-28 (.606)

SEC Record: 20-24 (.455)

Record vs. Ranked Teams: 5-21 (.238)

Florida's Interest In Mullen: 

Make no mistake - Mullen is one of the names at the top of Florida's shortlist. While neither side will comment while the Gators still have a coach, the interest is very real and very serious. On a 1-10 scale with 10 being 'this is our guy', Mullen is a solid 9.

Mullen's Interest In Florida:

This is where it gets foggier - Mullen has a small, tight-lipped inner circle, and his only comment (public or private) has been to call job speculation 'disrespectful'. His agent, Rick Diamond, isn't the type to go dropping hints and stirring up controversy to engineer a better deal (a la Nick Saban's flirtation with Texas), and the Bulldogs are still on course for a playoff bid. We'll know more as the season goes on, but right now, the Florida connection is the only strong piece of evidence that Mullen would take the job if offered.

How Would The Fans React?

After Muschamp, fans would take pretty much anyone with a pulse. Mullen, though, is the guy they want - not everyone has SEC experience, a winning record, and a successful history with the Gators. Fans would absolutely love this hire even if it wasn't coming after the Muschamp experiment.

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