Mississippi State knows Dan Mullen is a pretty hot commodity these days and is prepared to “go all in” to try and keep him in Starkville, a source told SI Friday morning. The 45-year-old Mullen is already getting paid $4.5 million, but word is the school is willing to bump him up to around $6 million and also making an even stronger financial commitment to his staff.
Mullen led the Bulldogs to an 8–4 record, although they ended the regular season on a downer with an Egg Bowl loss to arch-rival Ole Miss on Thanksgiving night. Mullen is believed to be a strong candidate for the Florida and Tennessee vacancies, among others. He worked under Florida AD Scott Stricklin when he was the athletic director at Mississippi State.
Before coming to Starkville, Mullen was the offensive coordinator at Florida for Urban Meyer and helped the Gators win two national titles. He is 69–49 in nine seasons at Mississippi State and has twice earned Top 25 finishes at the hardest job in the SEC West. Mullen has also proven to be an excellent developer of quarterbacks.
After the Egg Bowl loss, he told reporters that he “plans” on remaining the Mississippi State coach.
“As I said, I’m very, very happy here,” Mullen told reporters, according to the Commercial Dispatch newspaper of Columbus, Miss. “I’m happy with what we’ve built. I think it’s pretty special. I’m fortunate to be the head coach, and [MSU athletic director John] Cohen and [MSU President Mark] Keenum have both told me that they want me to continue to be the head coach here—before the game they did. We’ll see what they say right now. That’s obviously something that I’ll talk with them about in the next coming days, I’m sure. What we’re going to continue to do is build the program in the right direction.”