Mississippi State Hires Gators Dan Mullen
Mississippi State has hired Florida O-Coordinator Dan Mullen to head up the program in Starkville.
By: BE Coleman
It has been Jackie Sherrill, to Sylvester Croom and now to Dan Mullen for Mississippi State in the new millennium. Mississippi State has hired Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen to head up the program in Starkville, MS.
Mullen replaces Sylvester Croom, who had resigned last month after going 21-38 in five seasons as head coach. In 2007, the Bulldogs were 8-5 and had earned a post season bowl game, but fell on hard times in 08.
State had upset Alabama back to back in 06 and 07 and upset Auburn in 07 as well under Croom. Mississippi State last appeared in an SEC Title game in 1998 under Jackie Sherrill, is where the Bulldogs wish to go back with the Mullen hiring.
The Florida offensive coordinator arrived in Starkville late on Wednesday to accept the reigns. The 36-year-old Mullen has been an assistant coach for 14 years and has spent the last eight with Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.
It is unclear presently if Mullen will coach the Gators and Tim Tebow in the national championship game versus Oklahoma. He may try to get a jump on recruiting for the Bulldogs and serve double duty with Florida.
Mississippi State AD Greg Byrne said, "We're proud to have Coach Mullen and (his wife) Megan here. We feel he's the right fit for our football program."
Byrne would not disclose any contract details for Mullen or the terms of the contract.
Mullen is the 32nd coach in the programs 113 year old history. The loss will be felt in Gainesville; Mullen has been the instrumental man behind teaching the Gators spread option attack.
Mullen has mentored Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow while at Florida, Heisman finalist Alex Smith at Utah and Josh Harris at Bowling Green. He was an offensive assistant in 1998 with Donavan McNabb at Syracuse.
Tebow, who is in Orlando, FL. this week for the Home Depot College Football Awards had the following to say as a 2nd time Heisman Finalist upon Mullen.
"They can expect to work extremely hard and they better bring their lunch pail every day. They just need to buy into the program and they'll have great success."
If Mullen coaches in his second national title game, it will mark his 5th BCS coaching appearance since 1999. Mullen is three years older than the new head coach at Tennessee Lane Kiffin, who is 33. The pair of men are the youngest of the dozen head coaching identities inside the SEC.
Mullen graduated from Ursinus College in 1994 earning his bachelors degree and received his masters from Wagner State in ‘96. He is married to the former Megan West.
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