Florida Gators hire Dan Mullen as next head coach

The Florida Gators hired Mississippi State's Dan Mullen as its next football coach, according to the University of Florida's college football team officially announced.

Mullen was the Gators' offensive coordinator from 2005-08, including the 2006 and 2008 National Championship teams, coaching Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.

He left Florida to become the head coach at Mississippi State in 2009, where he built a consistent winner, posting a school-record three seasons with at least nine wins. His Bulldogs played in eight-straight bowl games, which is also a program record.

Mullen's record at MSU is 69-46.

A major factor in Mullen's hire is athletic director Scott Stricklin. While he did not hire Mullen at Mississippi State, the two reportedly had a good relationship there before Stricklin left for Gainesville.

Mullen has had success developing quarterbacks in Starkville, including current Dallas Cowboys star Dak Prescott. His current quarterback, Nick Fitzgerald, has thrown for over 1,700 yards and rushed for over 900 yards this season.

Former Gators coach Jim McElwain was fired in late October after the team was beaten by Georgia. The Gators lost three of their last four games under interim coach Randy Shannon.

It's unclear if Shannon will be kept on as an assistant.

The decision to hire Mullen came quickly after former NFL and Oregon head coach Chip Kelly chose UCLA.  Kelly reportedly interviewed for the Florida job a week ago but it's unclear if he ever had a formal offer from the Gators.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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