Florida Team News

Spurrier, Meyer, Mullen? How Gators’ new coach resembles past national champions

Dan Mullen
ALEX DE LA OSA/FLORIDA ATHLETICS

We gotta stop this stuff, Gator Nation. We’re getting all mushy about Dan Mullen, who’s been on the job less than three months. He hasn’t called a play yet for Florida, let alone won a game. He just simply can’t be that good, can he?

Part of it is the “Love At First Sight” syndrome. OK, maybe “Love at Second Sight” because we already knew the guy from his days as an Urban Meyer assistant.

Mostly, though, it’s the “fresh start” syndrome. Have you ever awakened from a bad dream and been just thankful it wasn’t real? That’s kind of what most folks in the Gator Nation are feeling after the past eight years.

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I must admit, the more I hear him speak, the more I like Mullen. Maybe because so many things he does remind me of the two national champion coaches at Florida.

Part of the reason? I decided to make a list.

These are the similarities I see in Mullen, Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer:

1. A brilliant offensive football mind (both Spurrier and Meyer)

2. Sensational play-caller (Spurrier)

3. Strategic, has a plan to win (Meyer)

4. Can develop three-star prospects into four- and five-star players (Both)

5. Super-competitive and hates to lose (both)

6. Passionate (both)

7. Thrilled to be on the job at Florida and makes football fun (Spurrier)

8. A superb recruiter (Meyer)

9. Loves the challenge of being the underdog (Spurrier)

10. Swagger: Cocky, brash, gutsy (Spurrier)

There are other similar traits, but we must await the heat of battle – such as timing on when to go for it on fourth down, call the gimmick play, run a fake punt or go for the onside kick. And on that count, both Spurrier and Meyer were gifted.

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Oddly enough, just going off my list, I realize I have cast Mullen as more like Spurrier than his old boss. I’m not so sure that’s true, but we shall see.

There is this other thing: Like Spurrier, Mullen wears a visor.

Hmmmmmmm.

(You can follow Buddy Martin on Twitter @buddyshow)

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