Well, it's safe to scratch one name off Syracuse's head coaching search list -- and it's one of the biggest that has been making the rounds. Despite and some smoke that there was serious interest between the two sides, Dan Mullen took to social media to nip any rumors in the bud. Mullen had initially sent out a post defending Ohio State coach Ryan Day after his loss to Michigan. One user responded with a GIF featuring Syracuse players dancing, and Mullen saw that as an opportunity to officially withdraw from the running.
"Love the cuse. But will not be the next head coach." Mullen wrote.
Mullen, who currently serves as a college football television analyst, has been a hot name to return to coaching since his tenure with Florida ended in 2021. He has a buyout from UF that will net him at least $1 million each year through 2027.
Mullen got off to an outstanding start with the Gators, though the program suffered a sharp decline in his final year. He was hired in 2018 and won at least 10 games in each of his first two seasons, claiming a pair of New Year's Six bowl victories (Peach and Orange) and guiding the Gators to back-to-back top-10 finishes in the AP Top 25 poll.
Florida won the SEC East in 2020 and came just six points short of beating Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. The Gators looked like they had a strong chance to keep things rolling in 2021 amid a 3-1 start to the year, but a series of upset losses to unranked opponents and a record that dropped to 5-6 led to Mullen's firing on Nov. 21, 2021.
Prior to his time at Florida, Mullen enjoyed a successful stint at Mississippi State. Taking the job in 2009, he inherited a team that had just one winning season since the turn of the century. He led State to a 9-4 finish in his second year. In 2014, he guided the Bulldogs to their first 10-win season in 15 years. He finished his time at Mississippi State with a 69-46 overall record with a 5-2 showing in bowl games. He is 103-61 in his career as a head coach.