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5 Potential Head Coach Candidates for the Florida Gators

Potential head coaches for the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators have decided to fire head coach Dan Mullen after four seasons with the school. They are now in the market for a new head coach. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the Florida Gators.

1. Billy Napier

Billy Napier has done a tremendous job at Louisiana. Over four seasons, he has compiled a 38-12 record with the school. After going 7-7 in his first season, he has reached double-digit wins in each season since. Right now the Ragin’ Cajuns have a 10-1 record. Before his time as a head coach, Napier was an assistant at Alabama, Clemson, Arizona State and Colorado State.

For virtually every job opportunity in the south, Napier is an expected candidate. He has shown consistency as a coach, which is something that Florida has stated they are looking for. he has good recruiting ties in the south. While he won’t be the flashiest hire, Napier has proven he can coach and his consistency will be consistent.

2. Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin has resurrected his career after going to Alabama and learning under Nick Saban. He moved on to Florida Atlantic where he posted a 27-13 record in three seasons. Kiffin then went to Ole Miss and has found success there as well. In two seasons, he has a 14-7 record. This season, the Rebels are 9-2 behind the good offensive play that Kiffin has instilled.

The big question is whether Florida could lure Lane Kiffin. There will be other suitors, like LSU, but Kiffin already has an SEC job. If Florida does get him, he could be successful, as he has demonstrated he can coach in the SEC and the south. He has also recruited decently at Ole Miss and should be able to improve on that at Florida.

3. Bill O’Brien

While O’Brien may have flamed out in the NFL he does have some success in college. Taking over difficult circumstances at Penn State, he compiled a 15-9 record in 2012 and 2013. After leaving the NFL, O’Brien has been Alabama’s offensive coordinator. He has been very important, especially this year, as Alabama’s defense isn’t as dominant as they have been in the past.

O’Brien’s inability to sustain success in the pros reflects that he is more of a college coach. He did so much with the Penn State program in two years and after spending time at Alabama, he could be successful at Florida. He now has built some recruiting ties and has the offensive expertise to be a decent candidate for Florida.

4. James Franklin

If Florida really is looking for sustained success, James Franklin has demonstrated that at Penn State. Other than a weird COVID season in 2020, he has made a bowl game in every season. More than that though, he has a 67-32 record at the school. Penn State was still recovering from NCAA sanctions when he got the job and he led them to three New Year’s Six Bowls. He also has been the most successful coach at Vanderbilt in recent memory, as he made three straight bowl games and posted a 24-15 record.

Franklin took Penn State to some pretty good highs and the one bad season shouldn’t change what he’s accomplished at the school. He also showed he can get the most out of his teams, which he showed at Vanderbilt. He recruits nationally at Penn State, which will be useful at Florida, but he also has SEC ties from his time at Vanderbilt. Franklin likely won’t be atop Florida’s list, but would be a solid hire for a program.

5. Mark Stoops

There may not be a coach in the country who has made the most out of his situation than Mark Stoops. In his first three seasons, he was below .500 with a 12-24 record. Since then, he has made a bowl game in every season, which is especially difficult at a school like Kentucky. In 2018, he took Kentucky to a 10-win season and the Citrus Bowl. This season, he has the Wildcats with eight wins heading into the final weekend. Before Kentucky, he spent time as an assistant in the state at both Miami and Florida State.

With success at a school like Kentucky, Stoops can build a program anywhere. He has done well in the SEC, improved Kentucky’s recruiting and developed talent. If Florida can hire a good offensive coordinator, Stoops will have the defense ready to compete. Stoops has helped Kentucky beat Florida and hiring him away from a team in the division could really help the team rebound quickly.


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