Mullen will reassess coaching roles with new hire

For six games back in 2015 Larry Scott experienced what it was like to be a head coach. Now, he’ll get many more than six games. Scott

Scott is reported to be the next head football coach at Howard University, an FCS division school. After 14 years in college football, Scott will finally get the opportunity to build and steer his own program.

“Those opportunities are hard to come by,” Mullen said of Scott on Wednesday. “Wherever you are, just the opportunity to be a head coach, and it was something that I think he’d gotten the opportunity to be an interim head coach. He’d been in the mix for several jobs, didn’t get it, and had this opportunity, and he and I met on multiple occasions on it and saying, you know, I just — I want to give it a shot, and I could never blame anybody for wanting to try it.”

The news broke just days before National Signing Day and Scott was one of the main recruiters of four-star tight end Demarcus Beckwith — who wound up signing with Tennessee, where Scott served as offensive coordinator prior to signing with Florida in 2018. Mullen doesn’t believe that the news of Scott’s departure impacted Beckwith’s decision but the departure leaves Mullen with a decision of his own.

Currently, the Gators are down a coach, specifically a tight ends coach. Will Mullen go and target a coach to handle tight ends or will he make more moves on his coaching staff?

“I think we might shift certain duties around, but we’ll probably hire a tight ends coach. Or a guy that’s more of a background with tight ends,” Mullen said. “But if we shift out, we might shift some — in the next couple weeks I might have some stuff that I’m going to shift certain duties around on our staff of what they’re doing besides their actual just — individual what their position coach would be.”

Mullen’s answer on the tail end of National Signing Day, a day in which the Gators missed on a running back and safety prospects they desperately coveted leaves much to wonder about and certainly leaves the door wide open for the eventual replacement for Scott. Will Mullen go the way of a true tight end coach or is his current staff flexible enough that he can go and get an ace recruiter and make the pieces work.

An in-depth embedded article from The Athletic ($) gave an in-depth look inside the Gators’ war room. When Williams announced he’d be going to Miami, safety coach Ron English stood up and left the room. English had a good cycle, the Gators’ defensive backs class is one of the best in the country, but missing out on Williams clearly stung.

Mullen is constantly evaluating his coaching staff and what they’re doing both on the field and off of it.

“Did you do a quality job recruiting guys in your area, did you do a quality job recruiting guys at your position, not just the guys that we got, did we do a good job recruiting,” Mullen said. “When you look back and say, did we do everything we could to get this guy, and if the answer is yes, you know, hey, he just didn’t come to you, he went somewhere else.”

“That’s kind of how I evaluate with the assistant coaches, and if there’s something we missed, then that’s what you’ve got to fix and that’s what you put as the negative aspect of what would be in the evaluation of the recruiting process of that coach.”

The Gators will finish with a top-10 recruiting class in the country. The problem is when you’re in the SEC a top-10 class still means you’re 6th best in your conference. Many will say the Gators need to continue to recruit better and start winning battles for players with the likes of Dabo Swinney, Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, and Kirby Smart. Does that mean, perhaps, shaking up the current coaching staff, what areas they recruit and maybe even what positions they coach to make way for new blood?

We’ll soon find out.

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC