Mike Mularkey

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Mike Mularkey
Color head-and-shoulders photograph of a smiling white man (Mike Mularkey) wearing a black Jacksonville Jaguars jacket and a navy blue USS Bataan baseball cap.
Mularkey in 2012
Tennessee Titans
Position: Head coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1961-11-19) November 19, 1961 (age 55)
Place of birth: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school: Oakland Park (FL) Northeast
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 9 / Pick: 229
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season: 27–46 (.370)
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael Rene Mularkey (born November 19, 1961) is an American football coach and the head coach of the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played nine seasons as a tight end for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers. He has served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans on an interim basis, the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, and the tight ends coach for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL.

Early years[edit]

Mularkey was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.[1] He attended Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Florida, and played quarterback for the Northeast Hurricanes high school football team.

College career[edit]

Mularkey attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played tight end for coach Charley Pell's Florida Gators football team from 1980 to 1982.[2]

Professional career[edit]

In 1983, Mularkey was a ninth-round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers, but was cut before appearing in game. He went on to play with the Minnesota Vikings until the conclusion of the 1988 season. In 1989, he signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent for the final three years of his playing career. In his nine NFL seasons, Mularkey played in 114 regular season games, started forty-six of them, and caught 102 passes for 1,222 yards and nine touchdowns.[1]

Career statistics[edit]

Year Team G Rec Yards Y/R TD
1983 Minnesota Vikings 3 0 0 0 0
1984 Minnesota Vikings 16 14 134 9.6 2
1985 Minnesota Vikings 15 13 196 15.1 1
1986 Minnesota Vikings 16 11 89 8.1 2
1987 Minnesota Vikings 9 1 6 6.0 0
1988 Minnesota Vikings 16 3 39 13.0 0
1989 Pittsburgh Steelers 14 22 326 14.8 1
1990 Pittsburgh Steelers 16 32 365 11.4 3
1991 Pittsburgh Steelers 9 6 67 11.2 0

Coaching career[edit]

Concordia University-St. Paul, Minnesota[edit]

Mularkey was given his first coaching position as an offensive/defensive line coach at Concordia University in St. Paul Minnesota for the 1993–94 season. He worked under head coach Tom Cross. He held the offensive/defensive lineman coaching position for one season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

Mularkey started his NFL coaching career in 1994 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a quality control coach for both the offense and defense. In 1995 he was promoted to tight ends coach and held the position for one season.

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

Mularkey was hired as the Pittsburgh Steelers' tight ends coach in 1996 and held the position until the conclusion of the 2000 season, when he replaced Kevin Gilbride as the team's offensive coordinator. He has a reputation for being an offense-oriented head coach with a penchant for trick plays. His skill for creating special packages to utilize multi-dimensional players such as Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El earned him the nickname "Inspector Gadget".[3] Even with his creative imagination, his philosophy of being the most physical punishing offense helped the Steelers average 10+ wins a year during his three years as offensive coordinator.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

In 2004, Mularkey left the Steelers and was hired by the Buffalo Bills to succeed Gregg Williams as the team's head coach. Mularkey started out his first campaign as Bills head coach with a record of 0–4. He rallied his team to a 9–7 record by the end of the season, however, sparked by a six-game winning streak during which the Bills scored more points than in any other similar stretch in franchise history. However, a loss to the Steelers in the final game of the season kept the Bills out of the playoffs. Overall they were 7th in the league in total offense. This would be their last winning season until 2014.

His second season in Buffalo was far less successful. Dogged by a quarterback controversy between J.P. Losman and Kelly Holcomb and a series of defensive personnel problems, Mularkey led the team to a 5–11 finish and a sixth consecutive year out of the playoffs - the longest such active streak in the American Football Conference (AFC). Mularkey's offensive schemes continued to be touted by then-general manager Tom Donahoe, despite the lack of production, finishing 24th in total offense.

On January 12, 2006, Mularkey resigned as head coach of the Bills, citing a disagreement in the direction of the organization, who had recently hired new management, including ex-coach Marv Levy.

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On January 22, 2006, Mularkey was hired to be the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator.[4] As the offensive coordinator under Miami's head coach, Nick Saban, Mularkey had an unsuccessful season with injuries to his first-string quarterback, Daunte Culpepper, and starting running back, Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins only scored 16.3 points per game, ranking 29th in the NFL. Following the season, it was announced Saban had resigned as Dolphins head coach and he accepted the position of head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team at the University of Alabama on January 3, 2007.

Upon the hiring of former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron as Dolphins head coach on January 19, 2007, it was announced that Mularkey would no longer serve as offensive coordinator but would remain with the team in another capacity. On March 15, 2007 it was officially announced that Cameron himself would call the offensive plays in 2007, leaving Mularkey to serve as tight ends coach.

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On January 25, 2008, it was announced that he would become the next offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.[5][6] In his first season at Atlanta, Mularkey's offense rushed for 152.5 rushing yards per game, second most in the league. The Falcons also finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (up from 29th the previous year) with 24.4 points per game, and 6th in yards with 361.2 per game. Mularkey was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by Pro Football Writers of America following the 2008 season. Following a 13-3 season in 2010, Mularkey was named the Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Sporting News. Mularkey interviewed with multiple NFL teams for their head coaching vacancies for 2011.

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit]

On January 11, 2012, Mularkey accepted the head coaching job for the Jacksonville Jaguars, making him the third full-time head coach in franchise history.[7] His first win came in Week 3 of the 2012 season against the Indianapolis Colts.

On January 10, 2013, the Jaguars terminated Mularkey after only one season. He had led the team to a 2–14 record. Mularkey had two years remaining on a three-year contract. However, Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, who had been hired on January 8, 2013, decided that the Jaguars needed "an immediate and clean restart" after winning only seven games in the past two seasons.[8]

Tennessee Titans[edit]

On January 22, 2014, the Tennessee Titans announced they hired Mularkey as their tight ends coach and he was given the title of assistant head coach for the 2015 season.[9]

On November 3, 2015, the Titans relieved Ken Whisenhunt of head coaching duties and announced that Mularkey would step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2015 season.[10] The Titans announced on January 16, 2016, that they would retain Mularkey as their full-time head coach,[11][12] a highly criticized move by their fans and he media, who qualified the hire as "uninspired" [13] and "awful". He was given full control over his staff, and on January 18, 2016, he hired former Falcons WR Coach Terry Robiskie as the Offensive Coordinator [14] and promoted assistant DC Dick LeBeau to Defensive Coordinator.[15] He stated that Titans would run an "Exotic Smashmouth" offense in 2016, meaning that they would go run-heavy, like a 1970s offense. After starting the season 1-3, the Titans beat the Browns and the Dolphins to improve to 3-3. Thanks to performances against playoff teams that shocked many, including a last minute win vs. Detroit on Week 2, blowouts against the Packers and the Dolphins on October 9 and November 13 respectively and a game-winning FG to beat the Chiefs on Week 14, the team came within just one game of earning an AFC South division title and a trip to the playoffs ending with a 9-7 record,[16] the first winning season for Tennessee since 2011. Titans also sent 5 players to the Pro Bowl, their highest number since 2008 [17]

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Wins Losses Ties Win % Finish Wins Losses Win % Result
BUF 2004 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC East
BUF 2005 5 11 0 .313 3rd in AFC East
BUF Total 14 18 0 .438 0 0 .000
JAX 2012 2 14 0 .125 4th in AFC South
JAX Total 2 14 0 .125 0 0 .000
TEN* 2015 2 7 0 .222 4th in AFC South
TEN 2016 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC South
TEN Total 11 14 0 .440 0 0 .000
Total 27 46 0 .370 0 0 .000

* – Interim head coach

Coaching tree[edit]

NFL head coaches under whom Mike Mularkey has served:

Personal life[edit]

Mularkey is married to Elizabeth "Betsy" Conant Mularkey, who is also a University of Florida graduate. The Mularkeys have two sons, Patrick and Shane.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Mike Mularkey. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  2. ^ 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 166, 174, 184 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  3. ^ "Best Local Boy Made Good". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Ex-Bills coach Mularkey joins Dolphins". Associated Press. Retrieved January 24, 2007. 
  5. ^ Falcons hire Mularkey as offensive coordinator
  6. ^ Mularkey has given Falcons extreme makeover on offense
  7. ^ Ganguli, Tania. "Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey as head coach". Jacksonville.com. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Jaguars fire head coach Mike Mularkey". USA Today. January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ Jim Wyatt (January 16, 2016). "Mike Mularkey "Honored" to be Named Head Coach". TitansOnline.com. 
  10. ^ Paul Kuharksy (November 4, 2015). "Titans fire coach Ken Whisenhunt". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Josh Alpert (January 16, 2016). "Titans announce hiring of Mike Mularkey as head coach". Pro Football Talk. 
  12. ^ Adam Schefter (January 16, 2016). "Titans are hiring HC Mike Mularkey, sources told ESPN.". 
  13. ^ "Titans hire Mike Mularkey, 3 things to know about an uninspiring hire". ESPN.com. 
  14. ^ "Titans hire Terry Robiskie as Offensive Coordinator". NFL.com. 
  15. ^ "Three coordinators hired, LeBeau, Robiskie, April". titansonline.com. 
  16. ^ "Titans beat Texans, Finish season 9-7". titansonline.com. 
  17. ^ "Five Titans selected to 2017 Pro Bowl team". titansonline.com. 


  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.