GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Dan Mullen knew he would have to clear the air about a few things on Monday when he was introduced as the Florida Gators’ football coach.
First, there was his comment back in 2014 when Florida hired Geoff Collins away from his staff at Mississippi State, which Mullen called a “lateral move.” Then, there were his wife Megan’s comments in August about how difficult it was to live in Gainesville due to the extremely high expectations that were in place during Mullen’s four years as offensive coordinator from 2005-2008.
Mullen answered both questions with relative ease.
His response about the lateral move was short and sweet, saying in a sense it was more coach speak than a jab about an opening at Florida.
“I’m pretty passionate about everywhere I’m at, you know,” Mullen said.
As for defending his wife, he went a little more in depth with that answer.
“I think as you look at quotes and obviously you know, in the media, that was taken in the context of talking about the pressures of what it is to be a wife of a coach in the Southeastern Conference,” Mullen said. “And I think as Megan addressed it, as, you know what, we certainly understand the pressures and expectations and standards here of what it is to be the head coach at the University of Florida because we understood what it was even to be a coordinator here.”
Mullen acknowledged that there are stresses that naturally come with the job for both him and his family.
For Mullen himself, the fan base will be itching for the team to get back to its winning ways after both the Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras failed to live up to the hype.
But Mullen pointed out that unlike his family, he generally isn’t as directly exposed to the fan base outside of game day.
“I’m not all at the grocery stores,” Mullen said. “I’m not always out around town. I’m not in school picking up the kids in line, the kids going to school. And they are around the passionate fan base a lot more than maybe I am on a daily basis, and I think they certainly understand what it is and the expectations people have here as the football coach.”
His family also understands those expectations. Otherwise, Mullen said, he wouldn’t have accepted the job.
“I can guarantee you this: If Megan didn’t pick Florida, we wouldn’t be at Florida,” Mullen said. “I think I’m a good coach and I think I’m smart in some ways, but definitely am smart enough to know that that decision is certainly coming from the top down. This could be my dream all I want, but that decision’s coming from the top down.
The post Dan Mullen addresses past comments about ‘lateral moves,’ expectations at Florida appeared first on SEC Country.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.