Florida head coach Dan Mullen will lead a game in the Swamp without either defensive coordinator Todd Grantham or offensive line coach John Hevesy for the first time this Saturday after both coaches were let go over the weekend.
When Mullen spoke with the media on Monday, he offered some insight on the decision to relieve both coaches and how he’ll go about searching for a replacement.
The decision to part ways with Grantham and Hevesy, who both have been on staff since 2017, weighed on Mullen for a while, the head coach said, despite his high opinion of both coaches.
“I think it hit, you know, probably going to make changes at the end of the season,” Mullen said. “And I thought, you know what, for the health of the program, for the health of everybody, you know you're going to do it, let's make that move now and get us headed in the direction we're going into in the future.”
Mullen was blunt when asked about what led to the decision.
“One of the ways you look and say it’s a successful season is, ‘Are you a better team at the end of the year than you were at the beginning of the year?’” Mullen said. “So for me, one thing, looking at where we’re at right now, we’re not better than where we were earlier in the year. In fact, we’re worse.”
The fourth-year head coach expanded upon the team’s inconsistencies, both on the defensive side of the ball and through Florida’s rushing attack. He said the 4-5 Gators played great football, they just didn’t play it all the time.
A replacement for either Grantham or Hevesy won’t be made official until after the season, Mullen said, and he hasn’t spent the last 24 hours combing for candidates. He won’t put off his due diligence until the season wraps later this year, however.
“We’re going to start doing some things here and there,” Mullen said.
Florida linebackers coach Christian Robinson will assume defensive play-calling duties for the final three games of the season, according to a release from the team. Additionally, offensive graduate assistant Michael Sollenne will work with the offensive line and Paul Pasqualoni, special assistant to the head coach, will assume an on-field role.
In his parting update of the availability, Mullen said redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson’s status was up in the air for Saturday’s game against Samford. The head coach said Richardson hurt his knee dancing in a hotel room Friday before the Gators’ loss to South Carolina, sidelining him against the Gamecocks and setting him back for this week.
Florida takes the field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium this Saturday at noon.
Contact Ryan Haley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ryan_dhaley.
Ryan Haley is a second-year journalism major with a sports & media specialization from Jacksonville, Florida. He grew up playing a bunch of different sports before settling on golf, following Rory McIlroy and all Philadelphia sports teams. He also loves all things fiction, reading, watching shows and movies and talking about whatever current story or character is in his head.