|Annual salary||$4.8 million|
April 27, 1972 |
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
|Alma mater||Ursinus College|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1999–2000||Notre Dame (GA)|
|2001–2002||Bowling Green (QB)|
|Head coaching record|
|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)
Maxwell Football Club 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 Education. 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 under Urban Meyer at the University of 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 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, a QB who led Utah to 13–0 and a Sugar Bowl victory in 2009. He also served as quarterback coach under Meyer at Bowling Green in 2001–02.
As a coach, Mullen has tutored several notable players, including quarterbacks Smith (Utah), Josh Harris (Bowling Green), Chris Leak (Florida), Heisman Trophy-winner Tim Tebow (Florida), and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State).
Mullen, along with San Francisco 49ers 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, Mullen was hired as the head coach of Mississippi State by former Athletic Director Greg Byrne.
Mullen's first recruiting class at Mississippi State was ranked 19th in the nation by Scout.com. and his 2012 recruiting class was ranked 18th 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 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 number-15 ranking in the final AP poll.
In 2011, Mullen's Bulldogs entered the year ranked number 19 in the nation. A loss to Auburn in the first SEC game of the year hurt the Bulldogs, and they went 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 number 13 ranking, entering a game vs number 1, undefeated Alabama. MSU lost, 38–7, and lost two more, to number 16 Texas A&M and number 9 LSU. MSU defeated Arkansas, and was looking for a fourth 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 started the 2013 season against number 13 Oklahoma State, losing, 21–3. They defeated Alcorn State, but lost to Auburn, 24–20. They defeated Troy, Kentucky, and Bowling Green, and lost 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 fourth straight bowl berth. MSU defeated Rice, 44–7, in the Liberty Bowl to finish 7–6.
In 2014, Mullen led the Bulldogs to one of the greatest seasons in school history. He claimed his first Top 10 win at Mississippi State, as the Bulldogs knocked off #8 LSU, 34–29, at Death Valley. He followed that up by beating number 6 Texas A&M, 48–31, in Starkville. A week later, they beat number 2 Auburn, 38–23, which 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. Losses to Alabama and Mississippi ended any hope of a national championship. The Bulldogs finished 10–2 – only the third 10-win season in school history. This netted them an appearance in the Orange Bowl, where they lost to Georgia Tech, 49-34, the third major bowl appearance in school history, after the 1937 Orange Bowl and the 1941 Orange Bowl.
On December 26, 2016, Mullen made SEC history when he became the first football coach in conference history to win a bowl game and still finish with a losing record on the season; Mississippi State finished the season with a 6–7 mark.
On February 27, 2017, Mississippi State Athletic Director John Cohen announced a four-year extension for Mullen through February 2021.
Head coaching record
|Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (2009–present)|
|2009||Mississippi State||5–7||3–5||T–4th (Western)|
|2010||Mississippi State||9–4||4–4||5th (Western)||W Gator||17||15|
|2011||Mississippi State||7–6||2–6||5th (Western)||W Music City|
|2012||Mississippi State||8–5||4–4||4th (Western)||L Gator|
|2013||Mississippi State||7–6||3–5||T–5th (Western)||W Liberty|
|2014||Mississippi State||10–3||6–2||2nd (Western)||L Orange†||12||11|
|2015||Mississippi State||9–4||4–4||5th (Western)||W Belk|
|2016||Mississippi State||6–7||3–5||T–5th (Western)||W St. Petersburg|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
Assistant coaches under Dan Mullen who became NCAA head coaches:
- "AFCA Announces 2014 Regional Coaches of the Year". AFCA.com. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
- Wardlaw, Michael (December 10, 2008), "Bulldogs Get Their Guy", BullDawgJunction.com
- Forde, Pat (December 10, 2008). "Sources: Mississippi State hires Florida coordinator as coach". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved 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, archived from the original on 2008-12-12
- "Football Recruiting Rankings 2009", Scout.com
- "Football Recruiting Rankings 2012", Scout.com
- Toughest Schedule. January 20, 2010. NCAA.org
- Astleford, Andrew. "RECAP: Mississippi State overcomes sluggish start, needs blocked field goal to beat Miami (Ohio) 17-16 in St. Petersburg Bowl". SEC Country. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- "MSU announces 4-year coach extension". HailState.com. 2017. Retrieved February 28, 2017.