April 27, 1972 |
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Notre Dame (GA)
Bowling Green (QB)
|Head coaching record|
College Football Data Warehouse
|Accomplishments and honors|
AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year (2014)
AP SEC Coach of the Year (2014)
Athlon SEC Coach of the Year (2014)
Mullen attended Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, where he lettered for two years playing tight end and was a first-team All-Centennial Conference selection his senior year. He graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor's Degree in Exercise and Sport Science. He went on to Wagner College, where he coached wide receivers and earned a Master's Degree in Education in 1996.
Prior to his hiring at Mississippi State, Mullen served as offensive coordinator at the University of Florida and was also alongside Urban Meyer at Utah, where he was quarterback coach of the Utes during their undefeated 2004 season. He developed quarterback Alex Smith into the number 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. After Urban Meyer left to take the head coaching position at Florida, Mullen served as the interim offensive coordinator during Utah's Fiesta Bowl victory over Pitt. During his tenure at Utah, he also recruited and partially developed Brian Johnson, QB who led Utah to 13–0 and Sugar Bowl victory in 2009. He also served as quarterback coach under Meyer at Bowling Green in 2001–02.
Mullen, along with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, and former Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, are part of the so-called "New Hampshire mafia" as they all have strong connections to New Hampshire.
On December 11, 2008, Dan Mullen was hired as the head coach of Mississippi State by former AD, Greg Byrne.
Mullen's first recruiting class at Mississippi State was ranked #19 in the nation by Scout.com. and his 2012 recruiting class was ranked #18 in the nation. In his first season as head coach at Mississippi State in 2009, his team went 5–7 against the toughest schedule in the nation.
In 2010, his Bulldog team went 9–4 overall and 4–4 in the SEC including victories over Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and Mississippi; the four losses came only to teams ranked in the Top 12. Mississippi State capped off the 2010 season by defeating traditional power Michigan in the 2011 Gator Bowl 52–14, and achieved a #15 ranking in the final AP poll.
In 2011, Mullen's Bulldogs entered the year ranked number 19 in the nation, with high expectations. A loss to Auburn in the first SEC game of the year hurt the Bulldogs, and they stumbled into the game vs Ole Miss with a 5-6 record. They defeated the Rebels 31-3, and defeated Wake Forest 23-17 in the Music City Bowl to finish 7-6 on the year.
In 2012, Mississippi State opened with a win over Jackson State, and a win over Auburn, the first time the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers since 2007. Mississippi State had a 7-0 record, and a #13 ranking, entering a game vs #1, undefeated Alabama. MSU lost 38-7, and lost two more to #16 Texas A&M, and #9 LSU. MSU defeated Arkansas, and was looking for a 4th straight win over Ole Miss, who was 5-6 going into the game, similar to MSU the year before. The Bulldogs lost 41-24, and then lost to Northwestern 34-20 in the Gator Bowl to finish 8-5.
Mississippi State entered 2013 looking to quiet their critics. MSU started the year against #13 Oklahoma State, losing 21-3. They defeated Alcorn State, but lost to Auburn 24-20. They would defeat Troy, Kentucky, and Bowling Green, and lose to LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Alabama to drop to 4-6 traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas to battle Arkansas. MSU won 24-17 in overtime, and was 5-6 entering the Ole Miss game. MSU missed a game winning field goal to send the game into overtime, and Dak Prescott got a 3 yard touchdown run on 4th and 2, giving Ole Miss the ball up 17-10. Bo Wallace fumbled in the end zone, giving MSU the 17-10 victory, and for the first time in school history, a 4th straight bowl birth. MSU would defeat Rice 44-7 in the Liberty Bowl to finish 7-6.
Mullen started the 2014 season with a bang. He claimed his first Top 10 win at Mississippi State, as the Bulldogs knocked of #8 LSU 34-29 at Death Valley. He followed that up by beating #6 Texas A&M 48-31 in Starkville. A week later, they knocked off #2 Auburn 38-23. This propelled them to the top spot in both major polls--the highest ranking in Mississippi State's history, and the highest that any FBS team in Mississippi had been ranked this late in the season in almost half a century. A loss to Alabama ended any hope of a national championship. Ultimately, the Bulldogs finished 10-2--only the second 10-win season in school history. This netted them an appearance in the Orange Bowl, only the second major bowl appearance in school history.
On November 19, 2014, Mississippi State pulled the scholarship of commit Chason Virgil, a three-star quarterback commit who was 16 days from graduating high school a semester early in Texas and enrolling at MSU beginning in January 2015. Virgil explained that MSU was now asking him to grayshirt, which would require him to wait until the second semester of his freshman year to enroll in classes. MSU's instate rival Ole Miss had a nearly identical recruit controversy concerning former commit Fred Wall. Virgil had been committed to MSU since May 2014 and he had other scholarship offers from Clemson, Auburn, and Arizona State. 
Head coaching record
|Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2009–present)|
|2009||Mississippi State||5–7||3–5||T–4th (West)|
|2010||Mississippi State||9–4||4–4||5th (West)||W Gator||17||15|
|2011||Mississippi State||7–6||2–6||5th (West)||W Music City|
|2012||Mississippi State||8–5||4–4||4th (West)||L Gator|
|2013||Mississippi State||7–6||3–5||T–5th (West)||W Liberty|
|2014||Mississippi State||10–2||6–2||2nd (West)||Orange|
|Mississippi State:||46–30 (.605)||22–26 (.458)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
- Wardlaw, Michael (December 10, 2008), "Bulldogs Get Their Guy", BullDawgJunction.com
- Pat Forde, Sources: Mississippi State hires Florida coordinator as coach, ESPN.com, December 10, 2008, Accessed December 10, 2008.
- Thamel, Pete (November 5, 2008), "Apprentice Hopes to Return Utah to B.C.S. Glory", New York Times
- Dodd, Dennis (December 10, 2008), "This time, Mullen in head chair to lead program's turnaround", CBS Sports
- "Football Recruiting Rankings 2009", Scout.com
- "Football Recruiting Rankings 2012", Scout.com
- Blevins, Riley (November 21, 2014), "QB Chason Virgil no longer committed to MSU, coach unhappy with Mullen", clarionledger.com
- Duffy, Ty (November 21, 2014), "Dan Mullen Pulled Quarterback's Scholarship Offer 16 Days Before Graduation", thebiglead.com
- Donohue, Tyler (November 21, 2014), "Mississippi State Pulls QB Chason Virgil's Scholarship 16 Days Before Graduation", bleacherreport.com