Dan Mullen turns Gators spring game into fun-filled spring fling – Orlando Sentinel
The first touchdown of the Florida Gators’ spring game on Saturday was a bomb from current quarterback Kyle Trask to Lawrence Wright, an All-America safety who played for the Gators’ first national championship team two decades ago.
The second touchdown was a 60-yard run by quarterback Feleipe Franks, who celebrated by punting the ball into the stands and then jumping onto the back of defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and getting a piggyback ride across the end zone.
After Franks’ next touchdown run, he leapt and did a 360-degree reverse dunk of the ball over the cross bar of the goalpost.
New coach Dan Mullen’s message came in loud and clear during the Gators’ rollicking, frolicking spring game in front of an estimated crowd of 53,015. If nothing else, Mullen wants to make Florida football fun again.
“Life’s too short,” Mullen said. “I want to have fun. I want Florida football to be fun inside the stadium and outside the stadium. … It’s entertainment. We want to put on a show.”
In Mullen, it’s becoming clear that athletics director Scott Stricklin didn’t just hire a new football coach. He hired new social director, a new marketing and promotions coordinator and a new fan-relations specialist
Before the game, there were food trucks and a beer garden on the stadium’s north lawn. Mullen, wearing shorts and a visor, ran out on the field before the game and gestured to the fans to stand up and holler. At halftime, he emceed a relay contest among a dozen campus student groups. After the game, he jumped into the stands and thanked the band for their performance.
Mullen has said he wants to turn Gator games into a rowdy, raucous mixture of a Broadway show, a rock concert, a state fair and, of course, fun-filled