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How Dan Mullen Resembles UF Championship Coaches

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

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 Urban Meyer Days.

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 last eight years.

I must admit, the more I hear him speak at a presser, 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. (Urban)
4. Can develop three-stars into 4- and 5-stars. (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 (Urban)
9. Loves the challenge of being 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 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 Steve and Urban were gifted.

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

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


Buddy Martin - Buddy Martin is a veteran columnist, talk show host and author. A longtime observer of college football, Martin is heard weeknights on the Buddy Martin Show on ESPN Coastal Georgia and WMOP/WGGG in Ocala/Gainesville Fla. and the Southern Pigskin Radio Network, where he also co-hosts The Terry Bradshaw Show. Buddy won an Emmy while he was with Terry at CBS as an associate producer. More of Buddy's work can be found at where his show is streamed live. Buddy's most recent book is Steve Spurrier's autobiography "Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football" published by Blue Rider Press. He also wrote Urban Meyer's authorized biography, "Urban's Way," and Terry Bradshaw's autobiography "Looking Deep." Contact him at, Facebook/The Buddy Martin Show and @Buddyshow on Twitter.