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MSU's Dan Mullen could become Florida Gator

Report: Florida targeting Dan Mullen to fill head coaching vacancy

Dan Mullen has been targeted to be the next head coach at Florida, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation.

Mullen was the Gators' offensive coordinator from 2005-08, including the 2006 and 2008 National Championship teams, coaching Heisman Trophy victor Tim Tebow. He has been a rumored candidate for the opening at Tennessee, also in the SEC, but Florida looks like a far better fit. "I'm fortunate to be the head coach and (athletic director) John (Cohen) and Dr. Keenum have both told me they want me to continue to be the head coach here-before the game they did, we'll see what they say right now". Stricklin is a Mississippi State alum and was part of the search committee who hired Mullen away from Florida under former MSU athletic director Greg Byrne. Now it appears they've arranged the triumphant return of one of their own.

The Gators went 4-7 this season for just their second losing season since 1979.

At MSU, Mullen has a 69-46 record and helped developed Conerly Trophy winning quarterback Dak Prescott, now a starter with the Dallas Cowboys.

Foley didn't interview Mullen for either of his most recent failed football hires - Muschamp and McElwain - and those decisions have sent the Gators football program to a spiral of irrelevancy.

Yet Mullen, who is 69-46 overall, does check numerous boxes needed by UF's next head coach. But Frost through his representatives apparently declined interest in UF job.

Mullen replaces Jim McElwain, who was sacked in midseason. The 45-year-old turned the Bulldogs around, leading them to eight straight bowl appearances and reaching No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25 during the 2014 season. While he did not hire Mullen at Mississippi State, the two reportedly had a good relationship there before Stricklin left for Gainesville.