Florida finalizing deal with Dan Mullen to be next head coach

Florida finalizing deal with Dan Mullen to be next head coach

SB Nation reported last week that while Florida's interest in Chip Kelly was real, administrators did not fly to New Hampshire a week ago on the pretense that he would be Florida's coach - nor did they offer a contract or terms.

According to ESPN's Chris Low, the Gators are finalizing a deal with Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen to take up the same position with Florida.

Mullen previously spent four years (2005-08) as Florida's offensive coordinator and won two national championships while guiding Tebow to the top of the school record books.

Mullen has two connections to Florida.

Florida's offense has been in steady decline since Mullen left after the 2008 season to become the head coach at MSU.

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Mullen brought the Bulldogs to No. 1 in the first-ever College Football Playoff Rankings back in 2014.

Mullen also would have to overcome a perception problem with UF fans. He now holds a 69-46 (33-39 SEC) head coaching record and has led the Bulldogs to seven consecutive winning seasons.

Stricklin's move for Mullen likely goes beyond familiarity. After Thanksgiving Day loss to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl left the Bulldogs 8-4, he then said he hoped to remain in Starkville, where Mississippi State reportedly planned to do everything it could to keep him. Unlike Foley, current AD Scott Stricklin feels confident about his working relationship with Mullen as Stricklin was the former Mississippi State AD during the football program's greatest rise.

Mullen made the most sense in the days after McElwain's October 29 ouster, but he was an unpopular candidate to many in Gator Nation who sought a splash hire.

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