GAINESVILLE, Fla. — University of Florida football coach Dan Mullen, who last weekend said he wanted 90,000 fans packed inside the Gators' stadium amid a pandemic, revealed he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Mullen made the announcement Saturday on Twitter, saying his initial positive result was confirmed by a second test. The 10th-ranked Gators had at least 21 players and coaches test positive earlier in the week, an outbreak that prompted the Southeastern Conference to postpone Florida's next two games — against LSU and Missouri — and shuffle other teams' schedules.
With potentially dozens more players quarantined because of contract tracing, Florida would have had fewer than 50 scholarship athletes available to face LSU, the reigning national champion off to a 1-2 start that includes a loss at Missouri.
Two Florida assistant coaches also tested positive for the highly contagious virus.
Florida has started administering daily tests since it first suspected an outbreak after last week's loss at Texas A&M.
The 48-year-old Mullen said he has experienced "mild to no symptoms."
"I'm continuing to self-isolate from my family, who all remain healthy, and am following all the guidelines set forth by UF Health, the CDC and our public health officials," Mullen tweeted. "I am proud of how our players, staff and campus community have navigated this unprecedented time and hope all continue to be safe."
The Gators believe their outbreak started with two players — one experiencing congestion and the other a headache. Both suspected allergies and didn't alert team doctors before getting on the team flight to Texas A&M.
Mullen raised eyebrows after the loss to the Aggies by saying he wanted to pack the Swamp against LSU because he considered the crowd at Kyle Field a factor in the home team's success. When given a chance to back down, he doubled down. He was given another chance Monday and dug in more, then finally relented Wednesday and apologized if he offended anyone.