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Florida Gators hire Dan Mullen as head football coach

Dan Mullen is going back to Florida.

Mullen has been hired as the Gators' next head coach, the University of Florida announced on Sunday. He served as offensive coordinator at UF under Urban Meyer from 2005-2008, where he helped the team win two national titles before he left for Mississippi State in 2009. He led the Bulldogs to a 69-46 record over nine seasons.

"I have such great memories of the championships we won during our time here and have a love for Florida," Mullen said in a statement released by the university. "We are happy to be coming back to such a supportive administration, staff, student body and fan base, which is the premier football program in the country.

"We will give relentless effort in everything that we do on and off the field. Our commitment will match the passion that the Gator Nation has for this program."

Florida also had conversations with Chip Kelly, before he took the UCLA job, and UCF's Scott Frost, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Mullen's familiarity with the leadership at UF no doubt helped pave the way for this move. Current Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin worked with Mullen when he was the athletic director at Mississippi State from 2010-2016.

"I strongly believe Dan is the most prepared candidate to have immediate and long-term success at the University of Florida," Stricklin said in a statement. "Coach Mullen is one of the best offensive minds in all of college football, and has an unbelievable track record in tutoring successful quarterbacks.

"Coach Mullen will do a tremendous job in developing accountability and toughness through a well-coordinated strength and conditioning program. Dan will work closely with the coaching staff, academic advising staff and administrative team to give every student athlete he coaches the opportunity to grow and excel at a high level athletically, academically and socially."

The new Gators coach has an impressive track record of developing QBs, as he groomed Alex Smith, Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott during their college careers. He'll be expected to boost a Gators offense that ranked 111th in the FBS this season, and Mullen should be up to the task.

He replaces Jim McElwain, who was fired last month after less than three seasons at the helm.

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