Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is the new head coach at Florida.
Mullen, who was an assistant under Urban Meyer at Florida when the Gators won two national titles, went 69–46 at Mississippi State, the toughest job in the SEC West.
The 45-year-old Pennsylvania native has a reputation as one of the best developers of quarterbacks in college football. He replaces Jim McElwain, who went 22–12 in two and a half seasons in Gainesville. McElwain clashed with the Florida brass and was fired after a 3–4 start to the 2017 season. The Gators finished 4–7 this year and 3–5 in SEC play. Their offense ranks No. 89 in yards per play, after finishing 105th in 2016, 102nd in ’15 and 94th in ’14. In the four years prior, Florida ranked No. 110, No. 92, No. 67 and No. 84. The hope is that Mullen will fix all that.
Last week, Florida pursued Chip Kelly, who ended up taking the UCLA job.
Mullen, 45, spent nine seasons at Mississippi State, and set to take them to their eighth bowl game in his tenure. The Bulldogs also had a No. 1 ranking during the 2014 season. He leaves with a 69–46 record and a 33–39 mark in the SEC.
Mullen received a contract extension from Mississippi State after last season and made $4.5 million in 2017. SI reported earlier this weekend that the school was preparing to go “all in” with its efforts to try to keep Mullen from bolting.