Florida fires Dan Mullen after losing 4 of last 5; Greg Knox to serve as interim coach vs. FSU

Dan Mullen is out as Florida coach after four seasons, the school announced on Sunday. Special-teams coordinator/running backs coach Greg Knox will serve as interim coach for Saturday’s rivalry contest against Florida State.

The firing comes less than six months after Florida and Mullen agreed to a three-year extension through the 2026 season, and one year after the Gators reached the SEC championship game. But starting with a three-game losing streak to end last season, UF is just 2-9 in its last 11 games against Power 5 teams.

Mullen led the Gators to a 34-15 record overall and a 5-6 mark thus far in 2021. The Gators reached three New Year’s Six bowls in Mullen’s first three seasons, winning a Peach Bowl and an Orange Bowl, and captured the SEC East last season.

After a 4-2 start to this season, Florida lost three in a row by a combined score of 123-66, including a 40-17 defeat at South Carolina, its worst in 42 meetings with the Gamecocks. Mullen responded to that loss by making staff changes, letting go of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy. But the Gators’ defense struggled again the next week against Samford, an FCS school, allowing 42 first-half points before coming back for a 70-52 win. Florida lost in overtime to Missouri 24-23 on Saturday, ensuring a 2-6 SEC record this season and a must-win result against Florida State in order to qualify for a bowl.

Florida hired Mullen away from Mississippi State in November 2017 after he took the Bulldogs to seven winning seasons in nine years. His Gators teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll at some point in each of his four seasons but never ranked higher than sixth in a College Football Playoff ranking.

(Photo: James Gilbert / Getty Images)

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