I might rehire Dan Mullen. I’ve got plans for Jeremy Pruitt, Jimbo Fisher, too | Toppmeyer


The luminaries spilled from Scott Stricklin’s house onto his pool deck on a warm Friday evening in September 2021. Gainesville buzzed with excitement on the eve of Florida’s top-10 clash with Alabama, and UF’s athletic director organized a gathering at his house to celebrate the moment. Steve Spurrier attended. So did the SEC Network’s Tim Tebow and Laura Rutledge and others from the national media.

Days before the game, Sports Illustrated published an in-depth story celebrating Stricklin’s hire of Dan Mullen “that remade Florida football,” as the magazine put it.

I admit, I was a believer.

That Saturday, The Swamp roared as loudly as I’ve ever witnessed it. The Gators pushed Alabama to the brink but lost 31-29. A week later, Florida punished Tennessee.

Florida and Mullen appeared to be blossoming.

Two months later, Stricklin fired Mullen after a loss to Missouri, his sixth SEC loss of that season.

Coaching tenures can spiral quickly in the SEC.

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Florida hired Mullen before the 2018 season as part of a blockbuster offseason in the SEC. Tennessee also pursued Mullen during that coaching carousel. In total, six SEC coaches were hired that offseason. Every single one has been fired.

Jimbo Fisher lasted longest. Texas A&M fired him in November.

Here’s how I view those six fired SEC coaches who were hired before the 2018 season:

The coach I’d hire again

Dan Mullen

Florida’s fan base soured on Mullen while the 2021 season imploded. Mullen’s image evolved from quirky mastermind to goofy Dan. Recruiting momentum stalled. I understood why Florida fired Mullen. And yet, I now wonder whether Florida would have been better off sticking with him. I respect Mullen’s offensive acumen, and I think he could’ve positioned UF as appealing transfer…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/might-rehire-dan-mullen-ive-110445809.html

Author : The Gainesville Sun

Publish date : 2024-02-20 11:04:45

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