Florida Gators Rumors: Dan Mullen 'Targeted' to Be Gators' Next Coach

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2017

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 14:  Head coach Dan Mullen of the Mississippi State Bulldogs reacts during a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Davis Wade Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Starkville, Mississippi.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Florida Gators have identified their top target to fill their head coaching vacacy: Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen.  

Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported the Gators have been in contact with Mullen since Friday, and Florida could have a final decision about its new head coach by the end of the day Sunday.

According to Thamel, the Gators were also pursuing Chip Kelly and UCF Knights head coach Scott Frost. The UCLA Bruins confirmed they hired Kelly on a five-year deal, while Bleacher Report's Lars Anderson spoke to a source who said it's a "done deal" that the Nebraska Cornhuskers will hire Frost.

Bringing Mullen aboard would be a good move for Florida.

He has experience with the school having worked under Urban Meyer as an assistant from 2005 until 2008, when he left to coach Mississippi State. ESPN Stats & Info showed how good the Gators were offensively with Mullen on the sideline:

During his nine years with the Bulldogs, Mullen proved himself as a head coach as well. Mississippi State is 69-46 under his watch and flirted with a College Football Playoff semifinal bid in 2014. The Bulldogs finished 10-3 that year and lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Orange Bowl. 

Mullen has shown an ability to develop quarterbacks. Tim Tebow was a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida in 2007, and three of Mississippi State's top 10 passersincluding Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, played under Mullen.

Given Florida's offensive struggles after the end of the Meyer era, Mullen would be a perfect fit.