Mullen has strong words about current job, potential opening at Florida
Dan Mullen has had plenty of highs and lows throughout his coaching career, but his team’s current No. 1 ranking is the highest high he’s experienced as a head coach.
The once-maligned Mississippi State coach is now one of the trendier names on the coaching carousel, and he’s garnered plenty of favorable attention from the Florida Gators fan base as the Gators struggle through another season under Will Muschamp’s leadership. Mullen served as Florida’s offensive coordinator during its 2006 and 2008 national championship seasons, and his name has been atop most Florida fans’ wish lists for a few weeks now.
Mullen was asked about his job status at Mississippi State and a potential opening this offseason at Florida in an interview with Head to Head Radio in Mississippi, and he had some strong words about his current job and fans’ growing impatience with college coaches.
“I coached at Florida, and I remember they wanted to fire Dan Mullen” Mullen said in the interview, according to 247 Sports. “I know there was a website here at Mississippi State to fire Dan Mullen last year. Now, there’s probably one to keep me here.
“Here’s my take on it,” Mullen continued. “One, both my kids are born here. I love Mississippi State. I’ve loved being here. I love the community. I love the state. I have a great administration. They’ve given us what we need to build a successful program. I think we’ve built that program. We love being here.”
This is not a guarantee Mullen will stay in Starkville as his name becomes more attractive on a national stage, but those are rather strong words in support of Mississippi State and against midseason job status rumors. Mullen also spoke in defense of Muschamp, who has been heavily criticized by the Florida fan base, calling Muschamp “a really good football coach” in the interview.
Then, suddenly, the intensity of Mullen’s words hit another gear.
He began explaining the detriments of hiring and firing websites regarding coaches, and was adamant that they cause more harm to a program than they help change the direction of said program. Mullen was the subject of firing campaigns on social media sites created by fans aimed to push him out of his jobs at Florida and Mississippi State, and he’s now the subject of HireDanMullen.com and WeWantDan.com, two websites created by Florida fans aimed to spearhead a campaign to bring Mullen back to Gainesville.
“It’s really an insult to coaches and to players at institutions,” Mullen said of the sites. “Whether they’re putting websites out to hire you or fire you or do all these different things, I don’t think that does any good for anybody. At the end of every season, there are coaching changes, but people put so much in. You’re so committed, yourself, your family, your team, everybody’s so committed, that I think it’s insulting to the job everybody does.”
Mullen reminisced about his questionable job status last year at Mississippi State, and used it as an example to set fans straight on their impatience and lack of respect for the work put in by college coaches across the country. The Bulldogs head coach did not mince words, and his own personal journey as a head coach has clearly provided him with strong opinions on the matter.
“I remember last year, supposedly, I’m on the hot seat and I need to get run out of town. Now, ‘Never leave.’ You go from ‘Don’t ever leave us,’ to ‘We need to fire this bum,’ to ‘Don’t ever leave us.’ We put so much in, the coaches and players and families are so invested. Everybody wants to win. Everybody’s giving their best effort out there. Fans are entitled to their opinion, and they get that stuff and put that stuff out there, but they need to know I’ve never met a coach that’s not going to give everything he has. You should respect and appreciate how much everybody in every program puts in to what’s going on on the field.”