Dan Mullen had his first press conference on Monday since he fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy.

Mullen was asked if he was reminded how much of a business the profession is to part ways with 2 coaches who have worked with him for a long time, and Mullen is friends with.

“Those guys are friends of mine, I have a lot of respect for them, both excellent coaches,” Mullen said. “My responsibility as the head coach is to do what I believe is best for the Florida Gators. That comes above it all. So it was obviously a really tough decision to make. It was something that was weighing on me. It was something that I was looking and saying I think it hit that I’m probably make changes at the end of the season, and I thought for the health of the program and for the health of the program, if you know you’re going to do it, let’s make that move now and get us headed into the direction we’re headed into the future.”

Mullen was then asked about the timing and reason for the move, and indicated that the South Carolina loss was the tipping point.

“I looked at how we played Saturday and some things that built up to it, we weren’t where we needed to be,” Mullen said. “… Our goal is to come in and win a championship. … It’s hard to judge success by that completely, and one of the things to judge is are you a better team at the end of the year than you were at the beginning of the year. … We’re not better than we were earlier in the year, in fact we’re worse than we were earlier in the year, and so we had to make some changes with what we’re doing, with where we’re at.”