Florida head coach Dan Mullen has been fired, the school announced on Sunday afternoon. Running backs coach/special teams coordinator Greg Knox will serve as the interim head coach for the Florida State game.
This news comes the day after the Gators lost 24-23 in overtime to Missouri to drop them to 5-6 overall and 2-6 in SEC play. This marks the first time since the SEC expanded to an eight-game conference schedule in 1992 that the Gators finished league play with only two wins.
Dating back to last season, the Gators are 2-9 in their last 11 games against Power Five competition.
Mullen finishes his nearly four-year tenure with a 34-15 record. He led the Gators to three consecutive New Year’s Six bowl games and the 2020 SEC East title before losing their final three games of last season and falling apart midway through this season.
— Dan Mullen (@CoachDanMullen) November 21, 2021
Mullen oversaw a drastic turnaround on offense. The 2020 team ranked third in school history in yards per game, seventh in points per game and second in yards per play.
Individually, quarterback Kyle Trask broke the school records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season, and tight end Kyle Pitts set the records for touchdowns in a season by a tight end and tied the school record for touchdown receptions in a game by any player. Pitts became the highest-drafted tight end in NFL history.
Ultimately, though, the Gators’ performance on the other side of the ball is what cost Mullen his job. The 2020 team gave up the most yards and the most points of any Florida team since at least 1945. The 2021 defense has given up at least 40 points in three of its last five games, including 42 points in the first half against Samford, a school record for a half.
Mullen fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy two weeks ago and promised to make this a more physically and mentally tough program moving forward.
After their latest loss, though, athletic director Scott Stricklin decided that Mullen will not be given the opportunity to dig the program out of this hole.
Knox has more than 20 years of experience as an assistant coach in the SEC, and he led Mississippi State to a victory in the 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl over Louisville as the interim head coach.
The Gators need to beat Florida State to make a bowl game this season.