WATCH REPLAY: Introductory Press Conference For Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen
By Scott Carter, Florida Gators.com // November 27, 2017
Press Conference took place at 3 p.m.
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida Gators name their next head coach as Dan Mullen.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA (FloridaGators.com) – He stepped off the private jet from Starkville, Miss., and touched down on Florida pavement at 11:05 a.m. Forty-five minutes later, Gators head coach Dan Mullen plopped down in a leather chair behind his new desk at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
Florida’s three national championship trophies rested on a shelf behind him.
“I already have pictures with two of those,” said Mullen, Florida’s offensive coordinator when the Gators won national titles in 2006 and 2008.
That’s the Mullen swagger Florida fans remember. Mullen will be introduced Monday afternoon as the 27th head coach in school history at his introductory press conference. The University Athletic Association announced Mullen’s hiring Sunday night.
A throng of media and Gator fans greeted Mullen and his wife, Megan, and their kids, 8-year-old Canon and 5-year-old Breelyn, when they arrived in town. On the drive from the airport to campus, Megan pointed out new and old places to the kids, who were not born when Dan and Megan called Gainesville home.
The 45-year-old Mullen can’t wait to get started after going 69-46 in nine seasons at Mississippi State.
“I feel completely renewed,” he said. “It’s your first day on the job. The excitement, the energy that you are going to bring with all of that, I’m ready to go. I’m ready to get after it. It’s a great challenge for us and just the renewal of energy, you just feel the adrenaline flowing through your veins.”
Megan is excited for a fresh chapter as well. The couple met when Dan was a Bowling Green assistant on Urban Meyer’s staff in the early 2000s and Megan was a local TV reporter.
“It’s just totally surreal and awesome to bring our two babies back and see how much life has changed and for him to have this opportunity,” Megan said. “It’s so just special for him. He’s earned it and I’m just so proud of him and happy.”
A lot has changed since the Mullens left, most notably the team’s record. The Gators finished 4-7 this season and are not going to a bowl game for the second time in five seasons.
Mullen is ready to get started and rebuild the Gators into the program he served from 2005-08 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“Florida is the premier football program in the country. You’re top five. This is the premier football program and the opportunity to come lead it, the opportunity to come and win championships is something you dream of your whole life as a coach,” he said. “The most important thing we’ve got to get going is recruiting.”
One of Mullen’s first tasks Monday was to meet the staff and team. He has a team meeting scheduled for 2 p.m.
“I want to meet with the team and get them to understand the expectations and standards of where I’m going to be at. I want to finish up final exams strong and tell them to make sure they go home and get a rest,” he said. “When they get back, they better be ready to work when they get back in January.”
A quick Q&A as Mullen makes the rounds on his first day:
Q: What’s it like to be back here today?
A: It’s so excited. I’m excited about the challenge, being back here, being where you know a lot of people, you know the state of Florida, you know the fan base, and you know the standards and expectations. I know what my standards and expectations are, and they might be higher than the Gator Nation, which I know everyone is going to be shocked to hear that. But they are and we want to get us back to competing for SEC and national championships as soon as possible.
Q: What did you learn in your first time at Florida that will help you this round?
A: I just think understanding the players at Florida, in the state, understanding the expectations of the fan base here, understanding of everybody here certainly helps. You are not walking into a situation today where I have no idea of what I’m walking into. I know exactly what we’re walking into and we’re going to relentlessly work where to get us back to where we need to be.
Q: How has life changed since you left nine years ago?
A: When we left here nine years ago, Megan was nine months pregnant and now we have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old. We still have Heisman coming back. He’s the only other Mullen that’s lived here. Hopefully he’ll remember being here in his youth. [Heisman is the family’s soft-coated Wheaten Terrier].
Q: What’s it like seeing so much support from former players on social media?
A: It is really exciting. We have such great memories of being here and of those players.
Q: What are your thoughts on the movement here to improve facilities and what you have to work with?
A: I was very involved in building all the facilities at Mississippi State, how to build them and where they need to be and functional and what’s the best way to do it. I’m really excited about that. I know we already have fantastic facilities here to work with, and I know as an administration, everyone is always trying to continue to get better, continue to improve. And working with the university administration, I know we’re going to make sure that we do that and that we have the premier facilities in the country.