AD Scott Stricklin speaks after firing Dan Mullen

Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin woke up knowing Dan Mullen wasn’t the right coach for Florida on Sunday.

Stricklin met with Mullen before noon on Sunday and told him he felt like they needed to go in a different direction for the program. Mullen was given an opportunity to coach the game against FSU but chose to step away before the game in hopes of not being a distraction.

Stricklin named running backs coach and special teams coordinator Greg Knox as the interim coach going forward and said that he, Mullen and Knox met with the team before the press conference. No particular players were addressed by Stricklin, but he said that he shared a brief moment of reassurance with Anthony Richardson among others.

The challenge for Stricklin will be finding a coach able to sustain the level of excellence expected at Florida. He doesn’t appear to be in a rush to hire a new coach as long as he can find the right one.

“There’s no timetable,” Stricklin said. “We want to take the time we need to get the right coach. We’d love to have one tomorrow but that’s probably not realistic. But we’re going to move as quickly as we can and we’re going to use every available resource at our disposal.”

Mullen will receive $6 million of his $12 million buyout in the next 60 days and will be paid $1 million a year for the next six years. Stricklin indicated that the university would be able to afford the right coach while paying off Mullen’s contract without issue.

Although it wasn’t outright said, it’s clear that Mullen wasn’t inspiring much confidence when it came to the future of Florida football. Stricklin praised Mullen’s ability to coach, especially on offense, but he also made it clear that Mullen wasn’t setting the program up for success.

The right coach for Florida will be able to lead, coach and recruit, according to Stricklin. Finding him will be the task of Stricklin’s career, but it’s one he says he’s capable of and that the board has backed him on.

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