The Florida football program has found its man.
On Sunday evening, the Gators announced that Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen will be heading to Gainesville to replace Jim McElwain as the team’s new head coach.
Before accepting the Bulldogs job in 2009, Mullen served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida. He mentored Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow and Chris Leak, while also turning Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald into stars at Mississippi State.
“Megan and I are very excited to get back to Gainesville and the University of Florida,” Mullen said in a statement. “I have such great memories of the championships we won during our time here and have a love for Florida. We are happy to be coming back to such a supportive administration, staff, student body and fan base, which is the premier football program in the country.
“We will give relentless effort in everything that we do on and off the field. Our commitment will match the passion that the Gator Nation has for this program.”
Mullen, who was named Mullen, who was named Coach of the Year in 2014, holds an overall head coaching record of 69-46. He is 5-2 in bowl games.
“I strongly believe Dan is the most prepared candidate to have immediate and long-term success at the University of Florida,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “Coach Mullen is one of the best offensive minds in all of college football, and has an unbelievable track record in tutoring successful quarterbacks (such as Alex Smith, Chris Leak, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald).
“Coach Mullen will do a tremendous job in developing accountability and toughness through a well-coordinated strength and conditioning program. Dan will work closely with the coaching staff, academic advising staff and administrative team to give every student athlete he coaches the opportunity to grow and excel at a high level athletically, academically and socially.”
Mississippi State responded to the news with the following statement:
Statement from Mississippi State president Mark E. Keenum on the impending departure of Dan Mullen: pic.twitter.com/m9XsKed2BR
— Yahoo Sports College Football (@YahooSportsCFB) November 26, 2017
The Bulldogs’ search for a new coach will begin immediately.