The Florida Gators have their new football coach. Dan Mullen has returned to Gainesville and will lead the team for the 2018 season and beyond. The 45-year-old coach who spent the last nine years at Mississippi State has already made a strong impression during his first few days on the job. SEC Country’s Zach Abolverdi and Jordan McPherson discuss this and more in our latest Zaxby’s Sound Off .
- Florida announced Mullen as its replacement for Jim McElwain on Sunday and he was formally introduced at a press conference on Monday . Mullen hit the mark. In a more than 50 minute introduction, Mullen showcased his energy and commitment for the Gators football program and provided a refreshing sense of encouragement for a fanbase that has gone through seven years of struggles. He accepted the challenge of bringing Florida back to the winning ways it had under Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer — the latter of whom was Mullen’s boss for four years when he was the offensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-2008.
- Mullen has only been in Gainesville for three days, but he already has begun making power moves. He opted not to retain six members of Florida’s staff — including coordinators Randy Shannon and Doug Nussmeier — and has brought along two members from his staff at Mississippi State in co-offensive coordinators Billy Gonzales and John Hevesy. Four members from Florida’s staff last season are still on board for the time being: running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, defensive line coach Chris Rumph, offensive line coach Brad Davis and linebackers coach Tim Skipper. Mullen said he hopes to have his staff finalized by the new year.
- Mullen has also made a quick start on the recruiting front, which is pivotal considering the early signing period begins on Dec. 20 . He made a trip to visit quarterback Justin Fields, the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class, and has offered two top players who he had recruited during his time at Mississippi State. The next three weeks will be interesting as Mullen tries to keep Florida’s top-15 class intact.
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