Is Dan Mullen actively seeking to get out of Starkville?

Nov 29, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen stands on the sidelines against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen stands on the sidelines against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The Rebels won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports /

There are several signs that point to Dan Mullen being unhappy as Mississippi State’s head football coach.

Does he care anymore?

The first, and most obvious, thing that would point in the direction of Dan Mullen not really wanting to be at MSU is his body language. It’s the biggest gripe I’ve seen after the horrible losses to USA and Auburn.

The show of emotion he exhibited for the South Carolina game seems like it was just a one time deal. Brian Hadad of Bulldog Sports Radio compared it to a husband whose wife has asked him repeatedly to take out the trash, he does it once to satisfy her and then never does it again.

There are players committing personal fouls that would have resulted in getting absolutely chewed out on the sidelines in year’s past, but now Mullen just shrugs his shoulders.

Reports of seeking other jobs

Seemingly every year Dan’s name is tied to other jobs. While some years I believe his name was thrown into coaching searches without it being his doing, I do think he was actively looking after the 2010 season and 2015 seasons.

In 2010, he interviewed with Miami. The rumor has always been that they were off-put by his arrogance, believing he thought he was a genius. I could buy into this actually being the case.

In 2015, his name was tied to Virginia Tech and Maryland. Then Miami again. There may be another one or two more in there – it was enough to know that he was shopping his name. There was even a report that said he was unhappy in Starkville and looking to get out.


I have to admit that just prior to the season I was dead wrong when I said the following things made his appear more comfortable in Starkville:

  • running in marathons
  • videos of him surfing behind a boat
  • Megan Mullen’s participation in politics
  • named to NCAA oversight committee

In hindsight, it appears these things are hobbies he’s perusing since he doesn’t feel the need to keep focused on the job that he doesn’t really care as much about anymore (even though he’s getting paid $4 million plus).

He’d rather talk about his Yeezy shoes at SEC Media Days than discuss the football team. Celebrity coach with his #CountryClubBoyz.


The day after Les Miles was fired at LSU, Mullen had some very interesting comments that I thought were telling:

Miles had only been at LSU for four years longer than Mullen had been at MSU. So he considers a tenure like that to be a rarity? While it is a rare for the collective average of coaches, it isn’t all that rare for highly successful coaches to stay 10-12 years or more. Miles and Mullen both fall into that category.

This isn’t the first time he’s said something like this. I recall him saying at the beginning of his tenure that coaches get a two year honeymoon, then they lose 10% of the fan base every year until they are completely wiped out….leaving 12 years as the max for any coach. But this is the first time I’ve heard it in a while, which is interesting since he’s much closer to that 12 year mark than he was in 2009.

It’s almost like he was giving himself an out. And consider that he said this after Scott Stricklin left for Florida.

New Agent

The Clarion-Ledger has reported that Mullen hired Jimmy Sexton as his agent this past spring. Obviously, he wasn’t happy with his former one, Rick Diamond. This could have to do with one of the following two issues or both:

  1. his former agent was unable to negotiate the right contract terms, and/or secure an extension after 2015
  2. his former agent was unable to land him another job

Either way, hiring Jimmy Sexton is a move you only make if you’re unhappy. He has a reputation for getting coaches what they want. If Dan wants out – Sexton will make it happen.


More from Mississippi State Football

All of these signs point to Mullen wanting to leave. I feel like such a fool because of the article I wrote in August suggesting he could be here forever. He wants out and he’s not doing a good job of hiding it.

While I do believe it is very hard to fire a coach who has been as historically successful as Mullen has been, one thing that will make it happen faster than anything is when the team quits on you. And we saw the beginning stages of that against Auburn.

The double-whammy is Scott Stricklin heading out of town and Dan Mullen shopping his name just last season. With Stricklin not around to protect him, Mullen may just bolt for a lower-paying job (but when you’re already making a top 15 salary most every job out there is lower-paying).

I want Mullen to be the head coach at Mississippi State. But I want the fired-up ‘I want to be here’ Dan Mullen and not the shadow of his former self we have now. I guess he’s reaching the point of needing a change of scenery, and has nearly come out and said it himself.