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Dan Mullen soaked in being part of Gators family Saturday

Olivia Stacey

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

About six weeks after being hired, new Florida football coach Dan Mullen took center stage, or rather, center court during halftime of Saturday’s basketball game against Baylor.

In front of a crowd of 10,623 Saturday at the O’Connell Center, Mullen fired up fans about the future of Florida’s football program under the new coaching staff.

Here is some video of the new boss mugging with Dick Vitale of ESPN, hanging with “Rowdy Reptiles” student section and more:

“We are going to give you a football team, I promise you, that you can be proud of both on the field on Saturdays and in the community,” Mullen said. “Our guys are working their tails off right now to live up to what we know the Gator standard is.”

In front of an amped up crowd, Mullen promised to bring back a national title to Gainesville.

“That standard is not just SEC, but national championships,” Mullen told the crowd. “That’s what we promise we’re going to bring back to you here in the Swamp in Gainesville and put the Gators back on top as the most dominating team in the United States of America.”

Several top tier recruits, who the Gators are hosting this weekend, were in the stands on official visits. We wrote earlier in the week about the progress that Mullen and has staff have made, especially in re-establishing some firepower to the offense.

Mullen, who was hired to replace Jim McElwain, is a familiar face in Gainesville. He helped lead the Gators to two national championships earlier in the 2000’s, as offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. So, he has credibility on that front.

Plus, he put together a successful nine year run in the SEC at Mississippi State that included his Dak Prescott team being unbeaten and ranked #1 in the country in October of 2014. They eventually finished that season 10-3.

It was a successful P.R. Saturday all the way around, as the Gators hoop team ranked 20th, went on to wipe out Baylor, 81-60.

Olivia is a multi-faceted sports reporter based in Tampa Bay where she has covered events from the College Football National Championship to the Stanley Cup Final. A native Floridian, she grew up rooting for Tampa’s sports teams, and graduated from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. Olivia continued her education at the University of Florida where she received her broadcast journalism degree.

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