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AP source: New Florida football coach Dan Mullen cleans house

New Florida football coach Dan Mullen started reshaping his staff on Tuesday. (Alan Youngblood / Associated Press)
New Florida football coach Dan Mullen started reshaping his staff on Tuesday. (Alan Youngblood / Associated Press)
By Mark Long Associated Press

Florida football coach Dan Mullen’s first official day on the job included numerous staff changes.

Mullen dismissed defensive coordinator Randy Shannon and five other assistants Tuesday, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the Gators have not publicly announced the personnel moves. The person said Mullen parted ways with Shannon, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, defensive backs coach Corey Bell, receivers coach Kerry Dixon, tight ends coach Greg Nord and defensive assistant Robb Akey.

Akey was Idaho’s head coach from 2007-2012 and served as a Washington State assistant from 1999-2006.

Nussmeier, a star quarterback at Idaho in the early 1990s, was an assistant at Washington from 2009-11.

Shannon had two years remaining on his contract that paid him $890,000 annually.

So the Gators will end up with four head coaches on the payroll in the future: Shannon, who was the former interim coach, as well as Mullen, Jim McElwain and Will Muschamp.

Florida has one payment remaining to Muschamp: $787,500 in 2018.

Full details of Mullen’s contract and McElwain’s separation agreement were released Tuesday.

McElwain will get a $7.5 million buyout spread across six payments between this week and 2021. He will receive the first installment, a $3.75 million “transition payment,” Friday. His original buyout would have been a little more than $12.5 million, an amount the team and coach negotiated after he failed to produce evidence of alleged death threats in late October.

McElwain and Florida also agreed not to disparage each other verbally or in writing.

Mullen signed a six-year, $36.618 million contract Monday to replace McElwain. Mullen can earn up to $925,000 more in bonuses and has a $5 million pool to pay assistants, up about $500,000 from McElwain’s final year.

The new coach announced the hiring of two of his long-time assistants, Billy Gonzales and John Hevesy.

Gonzales and Hevesy each spent at least 10 years working with Mullen, including several years in Gainesville.

Gonzales just finished his fifth season on Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State and was in charge of receivers. He also served as the team’s co-offensive coordinator overseeing the passing game for four seasons. He also worked with Mullen at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida, and spent time at LSU.

Coming off his ninth season at Mississippi State, Hevesy spent the past three seasons as the Bulldogs’ co-offensive coordinator. He also oversaw the offensive line since 2009.

Offensive line coach Brad Davis, defensive line coach Chris Rumph, running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider and linebackers coach Tim Skipper remain on Florida’s staff, at least for now. They are expected to be on the road recruiting this week.

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