The Daily Bazooka - Megan Mullen Will Not Stop Kissing UF Players despite Covid-19 Concerns
Megan Mullen, the wife of University of Florida head coach Dan Mullen, sparked controversy during the 2019 football season when it was revealed that she hugs and kisses each Gator football player as they exit team buses prior to entering the locker room before games. Yet, despite ongoing concerns over Covid-19 and many schools attempting to limit close contact between players and non-essential staff, Mullen says she is not stopping anytime soon.
According to Mullen, her unique tradition dates back to when her husband was the head coach at Mississippi State, and she was looking for ways to connect with the players and make them feel more at home. "I just thought, what can I do to make these guys feel more relaxed and at ease before games? Then it hit me. Because what could make young men feel more comfortable than a sloppy kiss on the mouth from somebody that resembles their mother?" Mullen explained in a recent interview.
Mullen said she continued her tradition after her husband took over as Florida's football coach prior to the start of the 2018 season because she wants to create a family environment no matter where her husband is coaching. "To me, it's really just about being a family. And families swap spit. Mullen stated. "I want these players to know that when they are [at UF] I consider them like my own sons. Which is why I am going to continue to smooch with each one of them."
In April, the University of Florida's athletic department released new guidelines regarding social distancing, in an effort to combat the spread of the novel Covid-19 virus. The University's guidelines expressly forbid athletes, coaches, and staff from "kissing, hugging, or otherwise maintaining close contact while participating in sports related activities." Yet, despite these clear guidelines, Mullen says she has no plans to eliminate her pre-game tradition and believes it will help bring back a sense of comfort and normalcy in uncertain times, "Oh, by all means, I am going to continue to play tonsil hockey with the team. These players, they just want to feel normal and comfortable again. And what is more normal and comforting than a kiss on the mouth from your head coach's wife?" Said Mullen. "These boys need their momma, and we know if momma says 'gimme a kiss' you do it."
Mullen did say that she would be willing to consider employing safe kissing practices such as the use of a mask or dental dam, but is waiting to see how things progress as the team approaches the new season. For now, Mullen stated that when it comes to getting to first base with her, it will be business as usual in the fall.