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Tim Tebow's former coach speaks out: 'We'd love to get him back'

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It’s a true testament to the influence of Tim Tebow that over 8 years after he took his final snap as the Florida Gators quarterback, his name still has so much cultural heft in the college football world.

Case in point, new Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen routinely brings up Tebow on the recruiting trail, and his words still evoke strong memories of Tebow’s stellar play.

“When I was here, 10 years ago, we were blessed to have some truly spectacular players. I mean, it’s fun calling plays when Tim Tebow is your quarterback and he’s throwing the ball out to a Percy Harvin,” Mullen said when he was introduced as the new Gators head coach in November 2017, via SEC Country.

While Tebow and Harvin were not able to fully replicate the success they had in college at the pro level, both were still a part of undeniably talented Florida teams that shattered all sorts of offensive records.

The Gators teams of recent memory have fallen very short of those lofty Tebow marks and Mullen, who was Tebow’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in college, is painfully aware of it.

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“We have to do a great job recruiting to get that level of player back here to lead us back to championships,” Mullen said.

Mullen brought up how Florida fans can help impact recruits. Specifically, he discussed how Tebow attended Gators games as a young fan and immersed himself in the culture there.

“We need everybody in the Gator Nation (to impact recruiting),” Mullen said. “We need flags flying in front of your house. We need people wearing their Gator gear around. In the back of kids’ minds, all they see is Gator stuff every single day. When you’re a young kid, you don’t know. You could have an 8-year-old sitting next to you that’s going to be the next Tim Tebow.”

“He lives in the house next to you and every day he walks outside and all he sees is a Gator flag in front of his house. He sees neighbors and kids wearing Gator stuff. He says, ‘I’m a pretty good athlete and one day I’m going to be a Gator.’ At 8 years old all of a sudden that starts sinking in and then next you know, he’s the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Gators (just like Tebow).”

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It only makes sense that Mullen would use Tebow as a recruiting tool in Florida. Despite not even playing football anymore, Tebow remains an immensely popular icon in the annals of the state’s football history.

But perhaps the most interesting thing Mullen has revealed in his speaking stops is the seeming standing offer he has for Tebow to join the Gators coaching staff. Mullen is aware that Tebow is extremely busy with his mission work and baseball career, but he seemed genuine when it came to wanting Tebow back with the Gators.

“I talked to Timmy, and I’d love to get Timmy back in the program in whatever role he would want to come in,” Mullen said last month, shortly after Signing Day, via SEC Country. “He’s got a lot of things going on. I talked to him the other day, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘I’m taking batting practice.’ He was somewhere in California or Arizona. He’s got baseball going on. Before that, he was in Southeast Asia on a mission trip. So his plate’s full.”

Despite acknowledging Tebow’s jam-packed schedule, Mullen made sure to stress that Tebow is always welcome to head back to his alma mater.

“(B)ut we’d love to get him back in whatever capacity,” he said.

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Tebow is currently a minor league baseball prospect for the New York Mets.

The 30-year old has had an up-and-down career as a professional baseball player, but should he ever decide to return to football, he now has two standing offers — one from the XFL and one from his old coach.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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