VIDEO: Dan Mullen Excited About New Opportunity with the Florida Gators
The final coach to take the stage on day two of SEC Media Days was a familiar face in unfamiliar colors. Dan Mullen wore his customary sneakers but they were trimmed in orange instead of maroon as he begins his tenure as Florida's head coach.
Mullen takes over for Jim McElwain and a inherits a team that finished just 4-7, which was just the second losing season in nearly 40 years for the Gators. Now Mullen will look to quickly rebuild a team that has been an SEC East power for decades.
"I've been very fortunate taking over the program. Our guys have bought in. One of the things when you take over a program you want to see -- I didn't recruit a lot of the players that are on campus. Some of them I have, but not all of them. And I want to make sure that they buy into the type of program that we're going to have.
"That's what we've been able to see, is a bunch of players buy in to what we're trying to build, through the offseason program, through spring practice, in the classroom, in the community, in every way buying in and having a great attitude to try and go build this program back up and be successful."
A game that shapes up to be pretty important for a number of reasons is Florida's trip to Mississippi State on September 29. After spending nine seasons as the head coach of the Bulldogs, Mullen won't have to wait long to face his old team and fans.
"You know, it's going to be a tough -- look at any coach that's went from one school to another in the league, it always becomes a big game. I don't know if anybody's done it the first year after leaving. That's going to make it a little bit different.
"But I think it's going to be a great job. I have such a great relationship. The players there, I love all of the players that are there, in getting -- into recruiting them, coaching them, being part of the family with all of them.
"That part of it with the players will be emotional to me. I love the fan base and how they believed what I tried to help build there and get everybody on the same page. The people at Starkville were great to me and my family, and there are great people that have so many fond memories of it."
You can see Mullen's full press conference in the video at the top of the page.