Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen hasn’t had a very good week.

Mullen was sharply criticized this week for his answer to a question about recruiting.

The fourth-year Gators head coach was asked about recruiting and he made it clear that he doesn’t want to talk about recruiting in-season. Mullen is still recruiting players during the season, but his answer showed an obvious lack of self-awareness.

Tennessee Vols head coach Josh Heupel took a different approach than Mullen this week. The first-year UT head coach spent several minutes talking about recruiting on Wednesday night during his appearance on Vol Calls.

Heupel was asked about how he approached Tennessee’s bye week and he immediately started talking about recruiting.

“The bye week was great. Guys got a couple of days off, beginning of the bye week, end of the bye week,” said Heupel. “Coaches were out recruiting at the end of it. Really important for us to get out.”

“Got a chance to go see a bunch of really good players. I got a chance to be out inside the state. Was in Memphis for a day, in Nashville. Really the first opportunity I’ve had in those two cities to meet a bunch of coaches, watch some really good football at the end of the day and you get back in the building on Sunday and move forward towards Kentucky.”

Heupel was then asked a follow-up question about meeting high school coaches in Tennessee.

“You get to all three parts of the state, and relationships are a contact sport at the end of the day,” explained Heupel. “We’ve tried to put a ton of time and energy into making phone calls, Zoom calls, getting to know the kids that they have on their campuses. Evaluation, being true and transparent and communicate with them about where we see that those guys are.”

“Get to know some of those players if they’ve come on campus, whether that’s in June or for unofficial visits, in particular, ball games here during the course of the fall But at the end of the day, for me, this is my first opportunity to get out and see them. I think it’s extremely important and took advantage of every minute. Loved being out inside the state.”

There’s a pronounced difference in the demeanors of Mullen and Heupel.

Mullen is edgy and defensive with the media. He seems unsure of himself — like he constantly feels attacked.

Heupel, on the other hand, seems relaxed and excited to talk about Tennessee. He dishes out his fair share of coach speak, but he appears comfortable and confident.

Ultimately, this is a results-driven business. But we’ve seen how a prickly attitude can be a sign of the beginning of the end for a coach. It doesn’t feel like Mullen is going to be a long-term answer for Florida at this point.

Featured image via Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports