Reports confirm Florida hires Dan Mullen as next football coach

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) A person familiar with the situation says Florida has hired Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen as its next football coach.

The person says the Gators will announce the deal later Sunday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because Mullen has not told his team. Mullen is expected to address his players in Starkville, Mississippi, before the official announcement.

Spurned by Chip Kelly and seemingly unwilling to risk waiting for UCF’s Scott Frost to possibly do the same, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin turned to Mullen. Stricklin and Mullen worked together in Starkville, Mississippi, from 2009 to 2016. Stricklin was Mississippi State’s athletic director for seven of those years.

Mullen previously spent four years (2005-08) as Florida’s offensive coordinator and won two national championships while guiding Tim Tebow to the top of the school record books.

The Gators have mostly sputtered on offense since.