Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Florida Gators

SEC media days: The story behind Dan Mullen’s sneakers and suits

Dan Mullen didn't think he was making a big fashion statement at SEC media days three years ago.

Yes, he was wearing trendy new sneakers — gray Adidas kicks designed by Kanye West. And yes, he paired them with a dark pinstripe suit.

But Mullen (then the coach at Mississippi State) didn't think the suit-and-sneakers look would buzz on social media and follow him to Atlanta next week for his first SEC media days as the Gators' head coach.

"It kind of blew up," Mullen said recently.

The story behind the shoes starts with a simple fact: Mullen likes them.

His footwear collection is hard to count after switching from Mississippi State (an Adidas school) to Florida (which wears Nike's Jordan Brand), but Mullen said it's closer to 50 pairs than 10. He figures he has at least 10 different pairs of Jordans. Add in dress shoes, flip-flops, regular Nikes, unopened boxes and old pairs removed from the rotation, and Mullen thinks his collection is larger than his wife's.

Mullen isn't obsessed with shoes the way some players are. But his appreciation for them allows him to connect with recruits who consider what they wear a major factor in what program they choose.

"For me as a head coach, it's always important to be able to relate to players and where they are in the world today," said Mullen, 46. "What's new? What's trendy? What's happening? That's one way to do it."

Mullen began making a fashion splash before national media outlets picked up on it three years ago.

He wore Stark Vegas sneakers with his suit before playing Auburn in 2014. As media days approached the next summer, Mullen and Adidas kicked around some ideas to show off both brands.

When Mullen received his Adidas Yeezy 350 Boost shoes, he posted a photo of the just-opened box on Twitter.

A reporter asked him about the look later that day. Mullen's response: "I try to be swagged up in footwear."

Because the SEC is a copy-cat league in a copy-cat sport, then-Arkansas coach Bret Bielema tweeted a photo of his sparkling Nikes before his appearance the next day.

"After that SEC media days, a lot more people started doing it," Mullen said. "So I might be a trend setter."

Mullen certainly kept doing it, wearing gray Adidas sneakers with his suits each of the next two years.

He has continued the trend in Gainesville; his December signing day ensemble was a gray suit paired with blue Jordans.

Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen sports blue Jordans with his suit for his December signing day news conference. (MATT BAKER | Times)

When Mullen addresses reporters next week in Atlanta, expect him to be wearing a sneakers with his suit again — and not only because it's a trademark look that plays well with recruits and social media.

"To be honest with you," Mullen said, "I really just like wearing comfortable shoes."

Comments
SEC media days: Dan Mullen on quarterbacks battle and transfers

SEC media days: Dan Mullen on quarterbacks battle and transfers

ATLANTA — The Florida Gators are up this afternoon at SEC media days. A few highlights from an early session with coach Dan Mullen and offensive lineman Martez Ivey, defensive lineman Cece Jefferson and linebacker David Reese:Mullen had no...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
SEC media days: On Gatorsí Van Jefferson and UCFís McKenzie Milton

SEC media days: On Gatorsí Van Jefferson and UCFís McKenzie Milton

ATLANTA — We still don't know whether receiver Van Jefferson will be eligible at Florida.But we do know how one of his former quarterbacks feels about his potential in Gainesville."He's just an explosive guy," Ole Miss quarterback Jordan T...
Updated: 3 hours ago
SEC media days: Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen shows off his shoes

SEC media days: Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen shows off his shoes

ATLANTA — The wait appears to be over.Florida Gators coach Dan Mullen snapped a photo of his new Jordans, presumably the sneakers he will be wearing with his suit today during SEC media days.pic.twitter.com/To0vESgkCn— Dan Mullen (@C...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Dan Mullen signee Cord Sandberg names 3 finalists

Former Dan Mullen signee Cord Sandberg names 3 finalists

It appears Dan Mullen won't get a second shot at coaching former Manatee High four-star QB Cord Sandberg.Sandberg, returning to football after spending the past half-decade in the Phillies organization, said Tuesday morning he has narrowed his colleg...
Updated: 4 hours ago
SEC media days: Kirby Smart, Georgia have moved on from title game loss

SEC media days: Kirby Smart, Georgia have moved on from title game loss

ATLANTA — Georgia coach Kirby Smart can't seem to get away from last year's national title loss.Even on Tuesday before taking the podium at SEC media days, he saw highlights of it on ESPN.But half a mile away from the site of that defeat t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
SEC media days: LSUís season could be defined by Miami, Gators

SEC media days: LSUís season could be defined by Miami, Gators

ATLANTA — With criticism already heating up on LSU coach Ed Orgeron, don't be surprised if the Tigers' season ends up getting defined by their performance against two Florida teams.The first comes on the Sunday of opening weekend, against Miami...
Published: 07/16/18
Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

Live from SEC media days: Five stories to follow

ATLANTA — Good morning from SEC media days, the unofficial kickoff to college football's preseason.The four-day event begins later this morning with commissioner Greg Sankey's address at 11:30. A few things I'll be monitoring over the next...
Published: 07/16/18
Tim Tebow to join Florida Gatorsí ring of honor

Tim Tebow to join Florida Gatorsí ring of honor

Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow will become the latest player inducted into UF's ring of honor, the team announced Wednesday.Tebow will be honored on Oct. 6, when UF hosts LSU and when the Gators honor their 2008 national title team at Ben Hill Griff...
Published: 07/11/18
Florida Gators announce non-conference basketball schedule

Florida Gators announce non-conference basketball schedule

The Florida Gators announced their non-conference basketball schedule for the upcoming season.Their home opener is Nov. 9 against Charleston Southern, which also happens to be the football team's opener.The full schedule:Nov. 6: at Florida StateNov. ...
Published: 07/11/18
SEC media days: The story behind Dan Mullenís sneakers and suits

SEC media days: The story behind Dan Mullenís sneakers and suits

Dan Mullen didn't think he was making a big fashion statement at SEC media days three years ago.Yes, he was wearing trendy new sneakers — gray Adidas kicks designed by Kanye West. And yes, he paired them with a dark pinstripe suit.But Mull...
Published: 07/11/18