The Missouri Tigers defeated the Florida Gators 24-23 in overtime on Saturday, dropping the Gators to 5-6 on the season and 2-6 in SEC play. It’s also their fourth-straight SEC loss and comes a week after Florida gave up 52 points to Samford in The Swamp.
All of which is a way to explain why Florida fired head coach Dan Mullen on Sunday.
Dan Mullen is out as Florida’s head football coach, sources tell ESPN. The Gators have lost five straight to Power 5 opponents.
— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) November 21, 2021
Mullen was finishing out his fourth season as the Gators coach, is just one year removed from taking the team to the SEC Championship. Still, last year’s 8-4 record was a step back from the first two seasons (10-3, 11-2). Now, the Gators have to beat Florida State next weekend to qualify for a bowl game. If they lose, it will be the first losing season since 2017.
Mullen ends his tenure with a 34-15 record, which, combined with his Mississippi State run, gives him a head coaching record of 103–61. He has a buyout of $12 million and is also owed half of that within 30 days.
The move was not unexpected as Mullen has been on the hot seat for much of the season, other than when the Gators almost pulled off an upset of Alabama. But along with the losses, the head coach stepped in it multiple times as well, making gaffes about recruiting and other topics.
Florida’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator Greg Knox will be the interim coach for the rest of the season.
Florida fans and college football folks had plenty of say about Mullen’s firing and the state of Florida football.
And finally, somebody regrets leaving Starkville
— ANTIFAldo (@ANTIFAldo) November 21, 2021
Dan Mullen met or exceeded expectations for like a decade straight at two different SEC jobs. One bad year and fired. What a dumb business.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 21, 2021
Dan Mullen: 7 ranked wins in 9 years
Mike Leach: 5 ranked wins in less than 2 years.
— Gil Maneclang (@gil_maneclang) November 15, 2021
The Dan Mullen era at Florida is over. This is not a sudden fall from grace.
Things that happened during his time at UF were hard to believe, he forced everyone to believe it all.
Final thoughts on a program that was standing on quicksand: pic.twitter.com/MjyDxwVXEJ
— Ben Murphy WTSP (@BenMurphyTV) November 21, 2021
The search now begins for a new coach in Florida where the expectations will be sky-high. That they’ll have to compete with LSU, USC, Washington, and Virginia Tech, not counting what other high-profile jobs become available soon, means it’s going to be a wild head coaching market this offseason.