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College football: Florida fires coach Dan Mullen; no timetable for replacement

College football: Florida fires coach Dan Mullen; no timetable for replacement
Dan Mullen (L), who was fired Sunday, posted a 34-15 record in four seasons as Florida's head football coach. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The University of Florida fired football coach Dan Mullen and doesn't have a timetable to hire his replacement, Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin told reporters.

Stricklin announced Mullen's dismissal Sunday at a news conference. Special teams coordinator/running backs coach Greg Knox will serve as the Gators interim coach for the rest of the season.

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"There is no timetable," Stricklin told reporters, when asked when he expects to hire a new coach. "We want to take the time we need to get the right coach.

"We'd love to have one tomorrow, but that's probably not realistic. We are going to move as quickly as we can. We are going to use every available resource at our disposal."

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Mullen led the Gators to a 5-6 record in 2021. Missouri beat Florida 24-23 Saturday in Columbia, Miss. They Gators lost four of their last five games under Mullen.

"I will always cherish the two National Championships we won during my time at UF, along with the past three New Year's Six Bowls to name a few," Mullen wrote in a statement posted Sunday on social media.

"The program has a bright future ahead with the young talent on the team and the new football facility that will be finished next spring. My family and I thank you for the honor of being your head football coach."

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Mullen led the Gators to a 34-15 regular-season record in four years with the program. He went 2-1 in three bowl appearances. Mullen was the head coach for nine seasons at Mississippi State for nine seasons before he was hired at Florida in 2018. He owns a 103-61 overall record in 13 seasons as a collegiate head coach.

Mullen, 49, was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida from 2005 through 2008. He also served as a positions coach at Wanger, Columbia, Bowling Green and Utah. He was a general assistant at Syracuse and Notre Dame.

The Gators host rival Florida State at noon EST Saturday in Gainesville. Stricklin said Mullen was given the option to coach the season finale, but declined. The Gators, who gave Mullen a three-year contract extension in June, will pay Mullen a $12 million buyout.

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