Dec. 11, 2008

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen was introduced as the new football coach at Mississippi State on Thursday to the cheers of dozens of fans on campus.

Mullen takes the job five days after he helped guide top-ranked Florida to the Southeastern Conference championship and a berth in the BCS national title game.

Mullen replaces Sylvester Croom, who resigned last month after going 21-38 in five seasons.

The 36-year-old Mullen is the third youngest coach in the Bowl Subdivision, following 33-year-old Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald, who turned 34 on Dec. 2.

Mullen has quite a resume already. He's won a national title as Florida's offensive coordinator and has a chance for a second in three years after a season in which the Gators set a team record for points.

Florida led the nation in scoring last year and is third this season at 45.5 points per game. Mullen directs the nation's No. 18 offense (442.4 yards per game) and No. 11 rushing offense (229.7 ypg).

He's also had success with quarterbacks - four he has coached since joining Urban Meyer's staff at Bowling Green in 2001 were signed by NFL teams, including No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith of Utah. Under Mullen, Florida's Tim Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy and is a finalist for a second.