Dan Mullen introductory press conference notebook

New Florida Gators head football coach Dan Mullen took the podium for the first time on Monday in his introductory press conference.

He talked about his excitement to accept a job at Florida and return to the school he once won two national titles at as an offensive coordinator.

Here is what he said:

• Mullen said he has a great responsibility to not only develop great football players, but to develop great young men.

• Mullen grew up a Florida Gators fan and was inspired by Steve Spurrier.

• “There is an unbelievable standard of excellence here at the University of Florida … I accept that.”

• Mullen said he is committed to getting this team back to national championship level.

• “I do know this—we will be the hardest playing team every single Saturday when we take the field.”

• Mullen said he and his wife were in a good situation at Mississippi State, but were ready to take on a new challenge.

• “I don’t know if there’s anywhere I’d rather be than here. I don’t know if there’s a better job in the country than this one.”

• Mullen’s first message to the players in today’s team meeting was about academics. He expects the best in the classroom from his student athletes.

• He told the players they better rest up in the month of December, because the new offseason conditioning program is going to be like something they’ve never experienced in their lives.

• “I don’t think there’s anyone in this room who loves scoring points more than me. I’ll put up 100. I’ll keep going.”

• Stricklin first reached out to Mullen on Friday. He told him he was not actively pursuing jobs, but the opportunity to coach at Florida is something that would interest him.

• Mullen said he did not have a chance to watch much film on Florida this season, but he thinks that is a good thing because he is not judging anyone beforehand. “Everyone has a clean slate to start over and show what they can be.”

• “Recruiting is the lifeblood of the program.” He said he and his staff have to do a great job of recruiting to get Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin caliber players back to Florida.

• “When you have that Gator on your chest, just about every player in the country wants to hear what you have to say.”

• Mullen said he does not have a prototype quarterback to fit into his offense.

• He wants a quarterback who has tremendous leadership and intelligence.

• Mullen said he learns the most about coaching quarterbacks from his quarterbacks than anyone else.

• A new staff likely won’t be finalized until after the New Year, because recruiting takes precedence right now.

• Open practices will be based on the time of year it is. He expects practices to be open in the spring.

• Freshmen will be allowed to speak to the media once they have played in a game.

• Mullen said if his wife did not pick Florida, they would not be at Florida. “Those decisions come from the top down.”

• Mullen said discipline is very important to him. Along with that, he said he thinks people often forget college football players are 18-22 year olds, and that everyone makes mistakes around that time in their lives.

• Mullen said it is unbelievable to have someone with the experience and knowledge Steve Spurrier has available to him, and he will use it.

• Mullen still has a great relationship with Tim Tebow. He said he is like a family member to him, and they would spend Thanksgivings together when he was at Florida.

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Bailiegh Williams
Growing up the daughter of a baseball coach in a household that revolved around Gators sports, Bailiegh’s future working in sports was her destiny. She played four years of varsity softball at Suwannee High School and one year on softball scholarship at Gulf Coast State College. In her first year she discovered a love for journalism so she packed her bags and moved to Gainesville to finish her A.A. and begin interning for Gator Country. She is now on track to graduate from the University of Florida in 2019. In her free time, Bailiegh enjoys binge watching her favorite TV shows and spending time with her family and her two fur babies.