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Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen tests positive for COVID-19

He makes the announcement amid a widespread breakout in the Gators' football program.
Coach Dan Mullen's Gators already have had two games postponed vs. LSU and Missouri due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Florida football program.
Coach Dan Mullen's Gators already have had two games postponed vs. LSU and Missouri due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Florida football program. [ SAM CRAFT | AP ]
Published Oct. 17, 2020|Updated Oct. 17, 2020

Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen announced Saturday that he has tested positive for coronavirus amidst an outbreak within his program.

“I’m continuing to self-isolate from my family, who all remain healthy, and am following all the guidelines set forth by UF Health, the CDC and our public health officials,” Mullen said on Twitter. “I am proud of how our players, staff and campus community have navigated this unprecedented time and hope all continue to be safe.”

His announcement comes at the end of a chaotic stretch for the program that included two postponements and at least two dozen positive tests.

A week ago, Mullen made national headlines and attracted widespread criticism for saying he wanted to fill Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to 100 percent capacity — about 88,000 — as allowed under state rules. Mullen eventually apologized if he offended anyone with his comments and said he meant that the Gators' stadium should be as full as public health officials are allowing.

On Tuesday, UF suspended football activities after a spike in positive cases. A day later, UF postponed the home game against defending national champion LSU that was scheduled for Saturday. That matchup has been tentatively rescheduled for Dec. 12.

Athletic director Scott Stricklin said then that 18 scholarship players and three walk-ons had tested positive. Mullen said two assistant coaches had also caught the virus.

Friday evening, the Gators' next game (against Missouri) was moved back a week to Oct. 31 because of UF’s outbreak.

Less than 24 hours later, Mullen announced that he was also among the positive cases. He said that everyone affected so far has been asymptomatic or experienced only mild symptoms.

Mullen is the latest head coach to announce a positive test. Florida State coach Mike Norvell missed his Seminoles' loss at Miami because of COVID-19. Alabama coach Nick Saban tested positive earlier this week, but multiple retests were negative.

Mullen said in his statement that his positive test has been confirmed.

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