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Dan Mullen Fired as Head Coach - Poll: Who Should Be the Next Gator Head Coach?

Who should be the next Gator head coach?

  • Mel Tucker

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lane Kiffin

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Luke Fickell

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (discuss in comments)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Greg Knox will be the interim head coach.
Here is my leader board for head coach at the University of Florida football program in 2022:
NameSchoolSalary, millionsBuyout, millionsWinsLossesTotal Win %Current School Win %
Mel Tucker​
Michigan State​
$9.50
$95.00
16​
13​
55.17%​
64.71%​
James Franklin​
Penn State​
$5.50​
$4.00​
90​
47​
65.69%​
67.35%​
Lane Kiffin​
Ole Miss​
$4.50​
$0.00​
74​
41​
64.35%​
65.00%​
Mark Stoops​
Kentucky​
$5.00​
1.75​
56​
63​
47.06%​
47.06%​
Luke Fickell​
Cincinnati​
$3.40​
$4.00​
51​
21​
70.83%​
76.27%​
Billy Napier​
Louisiana​
$2.00​
$3.00​
37​
12​
75.51%​
75.51%​
Jeff Hafley​
Boston College​
$3.00​
$0.00​
12​
9​
57.14%​
57.14%​
Jamey Chadwell​
Coastal Carolina​
$0.85​
$0.00​
87​
54​
61.70%​
58.70%​
Jeff Lebby​
Ole Miss offensive coordinator​
$1.20​
$0.00​
N/A​
N/A​
N/A​
N/A​
Joe Brady​
Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator​
$1.00​
$0.00​
N/A​
N/A​
N/A​
N/A​

Luke Fickell and Billy Napier are the only head coaches on the list with a better winning record than Dan Mullen. Fickell is not leaving Cincinnati, since his family is there, his son is coming to the school, and he does not appear to have any reason to leave the state of Ohio--at least not until his kids leave home. Napier is likely holding out for the LSU position and he has no reason to leave the state of Louisiana. Mark Stoops seems happy at Kentucky, and I am not convinced he would move to Florida. I have no information that indicates Lane Kiffin would come to Florida, but I have a feeling he would for the right price. Jeff Hafley and Jamey Chadwell are up-and-comers to consider. Jeff Lebby and Joe Brady are common names brought up that I do not recommend for first-time head coaches at Florida, but if we had to give someone a shot it would have to be one of these two. Mel Tucker is about to sign a $95M contract at $9.5M per year for 10 years, so Florida will need to match that immediately if they want a shot.

Just for comparison, here is a comparison of the last few Florida Gator head coaches:
NameOverall and UFWinsLossesWin Percentage
Dan Mullen
Overall
104
61
63.19%
Florida
35​
15​
70.00%​
Jim McElwain
Overall
61
40
60.40%
Florida
35​
12​
64.71%​
Will Muschamp
Overall
56
61
47.86%
Florida
28​
21​
57.14%​
Urban Meyer
Overall
187
32
85.39%
Florida
65​
15​
81.25%​
Ron Zook
Overall
57
65
46.72%
Florida
23​
14​
62.16%​
Steve Spurrier
Overall
228
89
71.92%
Florida
122​
27​
81.88%​

It is obvious that Dan Mullen was competitive as a head coach at Florida before he hit the losing skid a year ago. The 6-9 skid since December 2020 includes a span where Florida went 0-5 in SEC road games in 2021, 2-8 in all SEC games, and 2-9 in all Power-5 games.
 
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Leakfan12

VIP Member
I doubt Fickell would come and again does he recruit Florida? Tucker got a huge extension so that ain't happening.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Even though yesterday’s “play-not-to-lose-badly” direction of the team disgusted me, I still find I am quite saddened at this outcome.
I share with a number of commenters elsewhere the sentiment that “I really LIKED Dan Mullen and wanted him to be the Guy!”
Hey, until the 4-game slide (starting with the LSU loss) at the end of last year, I WAS SURE HE WAS!
Sure, there’d been some hiccups, signs of the strange inconsistency (not just in coaching, but in his whole personality and seeming sense of philosophy and/or HONOR!), but I really didn’t see this wholesale “breakdown in steady competence” COMING, I admit it!
As for “What now?”/“WHO now?”, I guess that now that it’s upon us, I need some more time to let it settle and the whole SCENE to clarify...
For the moment, I’m gonna let my previous thoughts and comments in the days leading UP to this stand.
I admit that I am still not “filled with hope” thus far at the seeming alternatives, the candidates being discussed by most so far. We are lost in darkness, fellow Gators, which by definition makes our road one fraught with danger.
No matter what, as “powerless fans” we can only “wait and see”.
“Thankyou for stepping in and stepping up at a similarly ‘depressingly bad moment’ a few years back, Dan Mullen!
I am so sorry that things didn’t work out in the end—that they went to sh*t so FAST!”
I guess how poor your “legacy” will ultimately be will depend on who is next and how well HE does: It is just still too hard to gauge how far we have in fact truly fallen, how much work and time there’ll be required for that “NEXT guy” to recover and rebuild what not so long ago was an on-rushing “Top Ten Program” (however hard it is to say that now).
One more thing:
Let this, the sequence of events and its specific culmination in the choices a Gator Coach made yesterday be a warning to ANY SEC Head Coach, certainly a GATOR one:
“Believe in the team and program; PLAY TO WIN!”
At this point, to ME at least it is utterly baffling and amazing to find myself having to say that (even theoretically, after-the-fact) to a Coach now. THAT’S gotta be a main reason he’s an “EX-Coach”, at this point.
Really makes me wonder WHAT WE’VE BEEN PLAYING AT!
AND plays right back INTO all my disappointment and disillusion with the college game now in general.
I’m a GATOR. No one can take that away from me, FROM US!
But they HAVE damn well thrown it all into question, turmoil. Where do we GO from here? Who do we turn to?
I WANT to hear, to SAY “OURSELVES!”—but I’m just not at all sure how we go about DOING that...How do we reassert our own collective “sense of personal control”??!
Of all the things to face, here and now, in the time of crisis and broken dreams we were/are already IN!
And, as usual, our various rivals and adversaries merely revel in our destruction, never considering how the WHOLE is lessened by OUR sudden weakness. I understand it—but this ISN’T the same as “just another defeat”.
You want your rivals to be WORTHY! The idea is to be good enough YOURSELVES to beat them!
As things stand this evening, I am sadly, truly considering walking away from the whole mess. I’ve already stopped reading the incoming news of which my long activity online has guaranteed a continued available flow. I don’t know, when, or even IF, I will return to it.
For the moment, my participation here is, and for now at least may remain, “the last of it”?
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Latest “unlikely one” that continues to resurface:
Bob Stoops.
Big Game Bob?
Ever since Spurrier left, then at first with every such vacancy (especially post-Meyer), but with lessening frequency (and in parallel less LIKELIHOOD, it seemed), I WOULD have figured “less so than EVER” by now...and that was my first take when it was mentioned again lately—but here it is AGAIN.
Is there any chance at ALL?
Would he come out of retirement, and would he come back HERE???
I don’t know—but if “yes”, we gotta pursue the possibility:
He’s a “young 61”, and may well make the PERFECT “CEO-style Coach”, as E— has suggested we need here.
I envision him bringing in a talented, star-studded young group of assistants and overseeing a tight, disciplined and well-run organization.
He and Spurrier remain very friendly.
Maybe NOT as far-fetched as first-impressions might indicate. Anyone have any further thoughts or info here?
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Sigh.
Anyway, according to Finebaum, “They had a replacement in mind before it even came time to fire Mullen...”
(For whatever THAT’S worth...)
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
In this case, I sure hope Finebaum is right (for a change)—that Stricklin and Co. DID have “someone in line” to replace Mullen—and that they’re all still waiting until season’s end to “make it official”...The last thing we need now is some scrambling, desperate effort to find “someone” to step in!
That shouldn’t have to happen at Florida—but as the days go by, it at least grows as a “possibility”.
I don’t have to elaborate on all the negatives if THAT turns out to be our fate.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Here is my updated ranking of all head coaches, with the rumored Gator candidates highlighted. For reference, Nick Saban has the highest score at 97.5. My scoring system does not have a way to account for up-and-comers, NFL coaches, or retired college coaches so I have no ranking for Bill O'Brien, Eric Bienemy, or Joe Brady. My ranking of Bobby Stoops is incomplete. Oddly enough, Bobby Stoops ranks higher than Mark Stoops despite the incomplete scoring. The scoring is based on championships, wins, and recruiting rankings. In case you were wondering, Dan Mullen 2021 ranks at #26 just below Billy Napier 2021, but Dan Mullen 2020 ranked at #17 and Dan Mullen 2019 ranked at #9.

These scores are not indicative of my personal preferences. These are purely data-driven without any personal preferences swaying the numbers.

Overall RankNameCurrent SchoolComposite Score
12Mario CristobalOregon57.2
15Lane KiffinOle Miss54.0
20Kyle WhittinghamUtah49.0
25Billy NapierLouisiana46.5
27Luke FickellCincinatti46.0
29PJ FleckMinnesota44.7
41Mel TuckerMichigan State38.0
46Dave ArandaBaylor36.0
49Greg SchianoRutgers32.5
 

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DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Here is my updated ranking of all head coaches, with the rumored Gator candidates highlighted. For reference, Nick Saban has the highest score at 97.5. My scoring system does not have a way to account for up-and-comers, NFL coaches, or retired college coaches so I have no ranking for Bill O'Brien, Eric Bienemy, or Joe Brady. My ranking of Bobby Stoops is incomplete. Oddly enough, Bobby Stoops ranks higher than Mark Stoops despite the incomplete scoring. The scoring is based on championships, wins, and recruiting rankings. In case you were wondering, Dan Mullen 2021 ranks at #26 just below Billy Napier 2021, but Dan Mullen 2020 ranked at #17 and Dan Mullen 2019 ranked at #9.

These scores are not indicative of my personal preferences. These are purely data-driven without any personal preferences swaying the numbers.

Overall RankNameCurrent SchoolComposite Score
12Mario CristobalOregon57.2
15Lane KiffinOle Miss54.0
20Kyle WhittinghamUtah49.0
25Billy NapierLouisiana46.5
27Luke FickellCincinatti46.0
29PJ FleckMinnesota44.7
41Mel TuckerMichigan State38.0
46Dave ArandaBaylor36.0
49Greg SchianoRutgers32.5
OK—but here’s the thing:
I WANT to hear your personal OPINION-driven analyses.
I happen to admire your well-researched and further considered, level-headed and intuitively experience-filtered thinking that always preceded such pronouncements on your part. So when you are ready, OUT WITH IT, my man!
Either in advance of the actual choice, or at least once a group of actual “live bodies”, in the form of contacts, interviewees and the like begins to emerge.
Something more than rumors and suppositions, anyways.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
OK—but here’s the thing:
I WANT to hear your personal OPINION-driven analyses.
I happen to admire your well-researched and further considered, level-headed and intuitively experience-filtered thinking that always preceded such pronouncements on your part. So when you are ready, OUT WITH IT, my man!
Either in advance of the actual choice, or at least once a group of actual “live bodies”, in the form of contacts, interviewees and the like begins to emerge.
Something more than rumors and suppositions, anyways.
My personal preference: Bobby Stoops as a program re-builder. He would need to expand his coaching tree, because many of his former assistants appear to be head coaches elsewhere: Mike Leach (Mississippi State), Jay Norvell (Nevada), Kevin Sumlin (Arizona), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), Josh Heupel (Tennessee). The following would be definite upgrades over current assistants at Florida if Stoops could pull them out of their current jobs:
- Mike Stoops (FAU DC, could be pulled
- Bo Pelini (availabel as DC),
- Chuck Long (available as OC)
- Mark Mangino (available as OC or TE coach, but with baggage)
- Kevin Wilson (Ohio State OC/TE, could be pulled)
- Jonathan Hayes (available as TE/ST coach).

If Big Show Bob is not ready to return to the college ranks then I would go with Billy Napier as an up-and-comer. I have no idea what his coaching tree would look like, and I fear that he lacks the experience to pluck good coaches from other programs. Here are Napier's current assistants:
- Patrick Toney DC/OLB (Louisiana, UTSA, Sam Houston OLB)
- Michael Desormeaux co-OC/TE (Louisiana alumnus)
- Tim Leger co-OC/WR/RC (Cleveland Browns receiver, ULM WR coach, McNeese OC)
- Jabbar Juluke RBC (Texas Tech, LSU, La Tech RBC)
- Rory Segrest AHC/DLC (Arkansas DL/ST, Alabama GA)
- Jeff Norrid OL (Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama OLC)
- Galen Scott ILB (Va Tech, Tulsa ILB/co-DC)
- Jeff Burris CB coach (La Tech, Notre Dame, Miami Dolphins CB coach)
- Wes Neighbors S coach (USF, FAU, Alabama S coach)
- Darnell Stapleton OLC (Pace, Pittsburgh Steelers, NY Sharks OLC)
- Chris Couch STC/QC (Tulane, Point, Georgia Southern STC/LBC)
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
O
My personal preference: Bobby Stoops as a program re-builder. He would need to expand his coaching tree, because many of his former assistants appear to be head coaches elsewhere: Mike Leach (Mississippi State), Jay Norvell (Nevada), Kevin Sumlin (Arizona), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), Josh Heupel (Tennessee). The following would be definite upgrades over current assistants at Florida if Stoops could pull them out of their current jobs:
- Mike Stoops (FAU DC, could be pulled
- Bo Pelini (availabel as DC),
- Chuck Long (available as OC)
- Mark Mangino (available as OC or TE coach, but with baggage)
- Kevin Wilson (Ohio State OC/TE, could be pulled)
- Jonathan Hayes (available as TE/ST coach).

If Big Show Bob is not ready to return to the college ranks then I would go with Billy Napier as an up-and-comer. I have no idea what his coaching tree would look like, and I fear that he lacks the experience to pluck good coaches from other programs. Here are Napier's current assistants:
- Patrick Toney DC/OLB (Louisiana, UTSA, Sam Houston OLB)
- Michael Desormeaux co-OC/TE (Louisiana alumnus)
- Tim Leger co-OC/WR/RC (Cleveland Browns receiver, ULM WR coach, McNeese OC)
- Jabbar Juluke RBC (Texas Tech, LSU, La Tech RBC)
- Rory Segrest AHC/DLC (Arkansas DL/ST, Alabama GA)
- Jeff Norrid OL (Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama OLC)
- Galen Scott ILB (Va Tech, Tulsa ILB/co-DC)
- Jeff Burris CB coach (La Tech, Notre Dame, Miami Dolphins CB coach)
- Wes Neighbors S coach (USF, FAU, Alabama S coach)
- Darnell Stapleton OLC (Pace, Pittsburgh Steelers, NY Sharks OLC)
- Chris Couch STC/QC (Tulane, Point, Georgia Southern STC/LBC)
I’m with you on the eldest Stoops. If he took it, it’d be BECAUSE he was pretty darn sure he could pull the “tree” he needed to support his plan for us—and that would be a “plan” that pretty well matches UF’s standard/expectation/self image, right?
Some big “ifs” lurking under that eventuality, though.
Failing Big Bob, It’s more a “crapshoot” no matter what—but the more I look into it and consider the alternatives, Napier seems at least the most “potentially exciting”.
We just gotta somehow find an upside here...
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
...More I DO “consider” all the rest of “the usual suspects”, the more I recall how much I DREADED having to “reach into THAT particular grab bag” now—how little confidence I had that our “next great Coach” would come out of that group. Even “Lane Kiffen” really DOESN’T “grow in relative stature” in my estimation as this all proceeds apace.
(For example, Feinbaum has him up there with Napier as two of HIS front runners—I must (and WILL) completely ignore that in my own ongoing analyses...In fact, after a couple of days gorging on all the info I could get on the various names surfacing, I am about to return to studiously IGNORING all that.)
Gonna stick to what little pertinent “hard news” comes our way on all this now, discuss it here—and generally “wait and SEE”, as I myself have lately preached.
I am personally totally OK with Spurrier being involved in all of this, as the handful of “Gator insiders” I know and am in touch with back in Gainesville SAY he is. But whomever IS the next Coach of the Florida Gators, it will HAVE to be that person’s SHOW, all the way. Might as well: He will sink or swim on the results, obviously—NOT on how much he pleases or is liked by “the old guard”.
Just remember our now dawning realization that the bad luck/poor choice (choose one) we turned out to have encountered in our latest Coach was in no small part a failure to recognize how much he hated recruiting. I don’t know what he thought (?—that “the GOOD ones” would just stay instate, come to UF?) or or how this was all gonna work out any way than the way it in fact did, but without a wholesale personality change or (more likely) a combination of “his guys” and a program with lower standards and expectations in the first place (like Mississippi State???), the lesson unfortunately was learned by ALL at our expense.
Alright, no more sulking recriminations. Let’s “see what happens”, “hope for the best”.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Another odd angle is Jimmy Sexton, one of the most successful sports agents on the planet. At one point 11 of 14 SEC teams were coached by a Sexton client, including the Gators. The top coaches on the list with Jimmy Sexton as an agent:
1. Nick Saban
4. Jimbo Fisher
8. Mack Brown
9. Kirby Smart
13. Mike Gundy
14. Clay Helton
15. Lane Kiffin
25. Billy Napier
36. Hugh Freeze
48. Mark Stoops
49. Greg Schiano
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Another odd angle is Jimmy Sexton, one of the most successful sports agents on the planet. At one point 11 of 14 SEC teams were coached by a Sexton client, including the Gators. The top coaches on the list with Jimmy Sexton as an agent:
1. Nick Saban
4. Jimbo Fisher
8. Mack Brown
9. Kirby Smart
13. Mike Gundy
14. Clay Helton
15. Lane Kiffin
25. Billy Napier
36. Hugh Freeze
48. Mark Stoops
49. Greg Schiano
I was aware of that “strange factor” in all of this—but had forgotten about it somewhere along the line...am still not sure it’s significance or effect, if any.
You?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
I was aware of that “strange factor” in all of this—but had forgotten about it somewhere along the line...am still not sure it’s significance or effect, if any.
You?
This just shows how well Sexton is connected in the college football market. Those connections help in cases where the schools cannot contact candidate coaches directly due to NCAA rules. The agents can talk to one another--and if one agent represents both sides it is super easy. This has happened a few times in college football.
 

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