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Former Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen joins ESPN as analyst

Former UF coach Urban Meyer will return for Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff traveling show.
Former Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen will be wearing a suit this fall as an analyst on ESPN2.
Former Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen will be wearing a suit this fall as an analyst on ESPN2. [ ALLIE GOULDING | Times ]
Published Aug. 19|Updated Aug. 19

Former Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen has joined ESPN as a studio analyst for this college football season, the network announced Friday.

Mullen will be on ESPN2 on Saturdays this fall alongside anchor Kevin Connors and analyst Sam Acho. He’s also scheduled to appear on ESPN on Thursday and Friday nights.

Mullen went 34-15 in three-plus seasons with the Gators. He led UF to a prestigious New Year’s Six bowl game in each of his first three years. UF finished in the top 10 in 2018 and 2019.

Things slid after that, beginning with a home loss in the LS-Shoe (LSU) game of 2020 and continuing to a blowout defeat against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. Mullen’s Gators began last season in the top 15 before crumbling. Subpar recruiting and other issues, including NCAA violations, left fans and administrators unhappy. UF fired him with one game left in the regular season after a 24-23 overtime loss at Missouri.

Before taking over UF, Mullen was one of the top coaches in Mississippi State history, famously taking the Bulldogs to No. 1 in the country. He also won a pair of national titles as a Gators assistant under Urban Meyer.

Fox announced Friday that Meyer will return for its Big Noon Kickoff traveling show. Meyer won national titles at Florida and Ohio State and has previously served as a Fox analyst. His last coaching tenure failed spectacularly with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

ESPN also announced Friday that former UF quarterback Jesse Palmer has signed a multi-year contract extension with the network. He also hosts ABC’s “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette.”

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