Gainesville, Florida – Florida coach Dan Mullen, who last week wanted to mobilize 90,000 fans on the field amid a pandemic, said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Mullen announced on Saturday on Twitter, saying his preliminary positive result was confirmed by a second test. The Gators, the 10th seed, had no fewer than 21 players and coaches who tested positive earlier this week, an outbreak that prompted the Southeastern USA Conference to postpone the next two Florida matches.
With dozens more likely in quarantine due to contract tracking, Florida could have had fewer than 50 players scholarships available to take on the defender of national hero Tiger in the swamp. Two assistant coaches also tested positive for the highly contagious virus.
Mullen is the second SEC head coach, along with Alabama icon Nick Saban, to contract COVID-19 and fifth overall known this season in major college football, joining Mike Norville from Florida, Kevin Somlin from Arizona, and Lee Miles from Kansas. .
Florida has started taking daily tests since it suspected an outbreak after losing last week to Texas A&M.
Mullen, 48, says he experienced “mild to no symptoms”.
“I continue to isolate myself from my family, who all remain healthy, and follow all the guidelines laid down by UF Health, the CDC and our public health officials,” Mullen wrote on Twitter. “I am proud of the way our players, employees and the campus community have traversed this unprecedented time and I hope everyone stays safe.”
Gators thinks their breakout started with two players – one with a congestion and the other with a headache late last week. They both suspected allergies and did not alert the team doctors before boarding the team’s trip to Texas A&M.
Mullen raised eyebrows after the loss to the Aggies by saying he wanted to pack Swamp against LSU. When given the opportunity to back off, it doubled down. He got another chance on Monday and digging into more. Finally, Wednesday relented and apologized if he offended anyone.
Florida does not plan to increase its presence at this time.
“It could sneak up on you quickly, as I said,” Florida Athletic Director Scott Striklin, who contracted the Coronavirus over the summer, said in a video call last week. “The main thing is that you have to be able to brake when things start to happen as we see them now.”