Even from Florida, Dan Mullen can relate to the meaningful celebration in Starkville as he joined in the congratulations for the Mississippi State baseball team, which beat Vanderbilt for the national championship on Wednesday night.

He congratulated the Bulldogs and, “to all the deserving State fans everywhere on being National Champions.”

Mullen, of course, spent nine seasons as Mississippi State’s head coach (2009-17) prior to his return to Gainesville.

Mullen at Mississippi State took over a program that posted a 32-65 record in the eight years prior to his arrival. Mullen (69-46, .600) finished the 2017 season second in Bulldog history in all-time wins. What’s more, his .600 winning percentage ranked second in MSU annals among those who have coached six or more years, according to his Florida bio.

Mullen produced three seasons of at least nine victories in the last nine years, including the school’s first back-to-back nine-win seasons in 2014 and 2015. The program has had four nine-win seasons in its 109 years.

Mullen also coached State to rare company among the college football blue bloods. Only six teams have held the No. 1 ranking since the start of the 2014 season – Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and Mississippi State.

Mullen especially showed his chops as a quarterback whisperer when after Dak Prescott was drafted in the NFL by Dallas, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald set nine school records in his first year as a starter.