Mike Mularkey
Color head-and-shoulders photograph of a smiling white man (Mike Mularkey) wearing a black Jacksonville Jaguars jacket and a navy blue USS Bataan baseball cap.
Mularkey in 2012
No. 86, 84
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1961-11-19) November 19, 1961 (age 60)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Northeast
(Oakland Park, Florida)
NFL Draft:1983 / Round: 9 / Pick: 229
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
  • Assistant Coach of the Year (2008)
  • Offensive Coordinator of the Year (2010)
Career NFL statistics
Receiving yards:1,222
Receiving touchdowns:9
Head coaching record
Regular season:36–53 (.404)
Postseason:1–1 (.500)
Career:37–54 (.407)
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Michael Rene Mularkey (born November 19, 1961) is a former American football coach and tight end in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, and was drafted in the ninth round of the 1983 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and lasted until the final round of cuts. Mularkey then signed with the Minnesota Vikings with whom he played for six seasons before playing another three with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mularkey has since served as the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans, the offensive coordinator for the Steelers, Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons, and the tight ends coach for the Dolphins, Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Falcons.

Early years

Mularkey was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.[1] He attended Northeast High School in Oakland Park, Florida, and played quarterback for the Northeast Hurricanes high school football team.[2]

College career

Mularkey attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played tight end for coach Charley Pell's Florida Gators football team from 1980 to 1982.[3] Mularkey finished his college career with 55 catches for 628 yards and three touchdowns.

Professional career

In 1983, Mularkey was a ninth-round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers, but was released before appearing in a game.[4] He went on to play with the Minnesota Vikings until the conclusion of the 1988 season.[5] In 1989, Mularkey signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent for the final three years of his playing career. In his nine NFL seasons, Mularkey played in 114 regular-season games, started 46 of them, and caught 102 passes for 1,222 yards and nine touchdowns.[1]

Career statistics

Year Team G Rec Yards Y/R TD
1983 MIN 3 0 0 0 0
1984 MIN 16 14 134 9.6 2
1985 MIN 15 13 196 15.1 1
1986 MIN 16 11 89 8.1 2
1987 MIN 9 1 6 6.0 0
1988 MIN 16 3 39 13.0 0
1989 PIT 14 22 326 14.8 1
1990 PIT 16 32 365 11.4 3
1991 PIT 9 6 67 11.2 0
Total 114 102 1,222 12.0 9

Coaching career

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Concordia University-St. Paul, Minnesota

Mularkey was given his first coaching position as an offensive/defensive line coach at Concordia University in St. Paul Minnesota for the 1993–94 season. He worked under head coach Tom Cross. Mularkey held the offensive/defensive lineman coaching position for one season.[6]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mularkey started his NFL coaching career in 1994 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a quality control coach for both the offense and defense. In 1995, he was promoted to tight ends coach and held the position for one season.[7]

Pittsburgh Steelers

Mularkey was hired as the Steelers' tight ends coach in 1996 and held the position until the end of the 2000 season, when he replaced Kevin Gilbride as the team's offensive coordinator.[8] He has a reputation for being an offense-oriented head coach with a penchant for trick plays. His skill for creating special packages to utilize multi-dimensional players such as Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El earned him the nickname "Inspector Gadget."[9]

Buffalo Bills

In 2004, Mularkey left the Steelers and was hired by the Buffalo Bills to succeed Gregg Williams as the team's head coach. Mularkey started out his first campaign as Bills head coach with a record of 0–4. He rallied his team to a 9–7 record by the end of the season, however, sparked by a six-game winning streak during which the Bills scored more points than in any other similar stretch in franchise history. However, a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the regular-season finale kept the Bills out of the playoffs. Overall, they were seventh in the league in total offense. This would be the Bills’ last winning season until 2014.[10][11]

Mularkey’s second season in Buffalo was far less successful. Dogged by a quarterback controversy between J. P. Losman and Kelly Holcomb and a series of defensive personnel problems, Mularkey led the team to a 5–11 finish and a sixth consecutive year out of the playoffs – the longest such active streak in the American Football Conference (AFC).[12] Mularkey's offensive schemes continued to be touted by then-general manager Tom Donahoe, despite the lack of production, finishing 24th in total offense.[13]

On January 12, 2006, Mularkey resigned as head coach of the Bills, citing a disagreement in the direction of the organization, who had recently hired new management, including ex-coach Marv Levy.[14]

Miami Dolphins

On January 22, 2006, Mularkey was hired to be the Miami Dolphins' offensive coordinator.[15] As the offensive coordinator under Miami's head coach, Nick Saban, Mularkey had an unsuccessful season with injuries to his first-string quarterback Daunte Culpepper and starting running back Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins only scored 16.3 points per game, ranking 29th in the NFL.[16][17] Following the season, it was announced Saban had resigned as Dolphins head coach and he accepted the position of head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team at the University of Alabama on January 3, 2007.[18]

Upon the hiring of former San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Cam Cameron as Dolphins head coach on January 19, 2007, it was announced that Mularkey would no longer serve as offensive coordinator but would remain with the team in another capacity.[19] On March 15, 2007, it was officially announced that Cameron himself would call the offensive plays in 2007, leaving Mularkey to serve as tight ends coach.

Atlanta Falcons

On January 25, 2008, it was announced that Mularkey would become the next offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.[20]

In Mularkey's first season in Atlanta, the Falcons finished with an 11-5 record and the offense rushed for 152.5 rushing yards per game, second most in the league. The Falcons also finished 10th in the NFL in scoring (up from 29th the previous year) with 24.4 points per game, and sixth in yards with 361.2 per game.[21] Mularkey was named the Assistant Coach of the Year by Pro Football Writers of America following the 2008 season.

Following a 13–3 season in 2010, Mularkey was named the Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Sporting News.[22][23] He interviewed with multiple NFL teams for their head coaching vacancies for 2011.

Jacksonville Jaguars

On January 11, 2012, Mularkey accepted the head coaching job for the Jacksonville Jaguars, making him the third full-time head coach in franchise history.[24] His first win came in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts.[25] Mularkey led the team to a 2–14 record.[26]

On January 10, 2013, the Jaguars fired Mularkey after only one season, which was the worst in franchise history.[27] He had two years remaining on a three-year contract. However, Jaguars general manager David Caldwell, who had been hired on January 8, 2013, decided that the Jaguars needed "an immediate and clean restart" after winning only seven games in the past two seasons.[28]

Tennessee Titans

On January 22, 2014, the Tennessee Titans announced they hired Mularkey as their tight ends coach. He was given the title of assistant head coach the following season.[23]

On November 3, 2015, the Titans relieved Ken Whisenhunt of head coaching duties and announced that Mularkey would step in as interim head coach for the rest of the season.[29] He had a 2-7 record as interim head coach as the Titans finished with a league-worst 3-13 record.[30]

On January 16, 2016, the Titans announced that they would retain Mularkey as their full-time head coach[31][32] on a three-year contract[33] in a highly criticized move by their fans and the media, who qualified the hire as "uninspired"[34] and "awful." Mularkey was given full control over his staff, and on January 18, 2016, he hired former Atlanta Falcons wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie as the offensive coordinator[35] and promoted assistant defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to defensive coordinator.[36] Mularkey stated that the Titans would run an "Exotic Smashmouth" offense in 2016, meaning that they would go run-heavy, like a 1970s offense.

After starting the season 1–3, the Titans beat the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins to improve to 3–3. Thanks to a last-minute Week 2 16-15 road victory over the Detroit Lions, a Week 10 47-25 blowout against the Green Bay Packers, and a game-winning 53-yard field goal to beat the Kansas City Chiefs on the road by a score of 19-17 in Week 14, the team came within just one game of earning an AFC South division title and a trip to the playoffs, ending with a 9–7 record,[37] the first winning season for Tennessee since 2011.[38][39][40] The Titans also sent five players to the Pro Bowl, their highest number since 2008.[41]

In 2017, the Titans again finished with a 9–7 record, making the playoffs for the first time in nine years with a 15–10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the regular-season finale.[42][43] In the Wildcard Round, the Titans rallied from a 21–3 halftime deficit against the Chiefs to narrowly win on the road by a score of 22–21; this was their first playoff victory since 2003.[44] The Titans also sent six players to the Pro Bowl.

Mularkey and the Titans agreed to part ways after the 35–14 road loss to the New England Patriots in the Divisional Round.[45][46]

Atlanta Falcons (second stint)

After a year away from coaching, Mularkey was hired to be the Falcons' tight end coach on January 8, 2019.[47]


On January 9, 2020, Mularkey announced his retirement from coaching.[48]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
BUF 2004 9 7 0 .563 3rd in AFC East
BUF 2005 5 11 0 .313 3rd in AFC East
BUF total 14 18 0 .438 0 0 .000
JAX 2012 2 14 0 .125 4th in AFC South
JAX total 2 14 0 .125 0 0 .000
TEN* 2015 2 7 0 .222 4th in AFC South
TEN 2016 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC South
TEN 2017 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC South 1 1 .500 Lost to New England Patriots in AFC Divisional Game
TEN total 20 21 0 .488 1 1 .500
Total 36 53 0 .404 1 1 .500

* – Interim head coach

Personal life

Mularkey is married to Elizabeth "Betsy" Conant Mularkey, who is also a University of Florida graduate. They have two sons, Patrick and Shane. Shane was a scholarship football player at University of North Carolina, but ended his playing days after shoulder surgery.[49]

See also


  1. ^ a b Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Mike Mularkey. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Arias, Greg (January 16, 2016). "Mularkey Tabbed Titans New Head Coach". 24/7 Sports. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  3. ^ 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 166, 174, 184 (2011). Retrieved August 31, 2011.
  4. ^ "1983 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mike Mularkey Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  6. ^ Boclair, David (August 21, 2014). "Mularkey finally lands job with Titans 'doing what I do best'". Nashville Post. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  7. ^ Wyatt, Jim. "IBM to NFL: 25 Years Later, Mike Mularkey Back at the Biltmore". Tennessee Titans. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Klinger, Jacob (November 14, 2017). "Titans, former Steelers coach reflects on Pittsburgh connections". PennLive.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "Best Local Boy Made Good". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  10. ^ "2004 Buffalo Bills Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  11. ^ "Buffalo Bills Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  12. ^ "2005 Buffalo Bills Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "2005 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  14. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (January 13, 2006). "Mularkey resigns as Bills' head coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  15. ^ "Ex-Bills coach Mularkey joins Dolphins". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 26, 2006. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  16. ^ "2006 Miami Dolphins Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  17. ^ "2006 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "Nick Saban Named Head Football Coach at The University of Alabama". University of Alabama News Center. January 3, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Reynolds, Tim (January 20, 2007). "Dolphins Hire Cam Cameron as Head Coach". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 31, 2022.((cite news)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (January 25, 2008). "Falcons hire ex-Bills head coach Mularkey as offensive coordinator". ESPN.com.
  21. ^ "2008 NFL Standings & Team Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "2010 Atlanta Falcons Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  23. ^ a b Wyatt, Jim (January 16, 2016). "Mike Mularkey "Honored" to be Named Head Coach". Titans Online. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  24. ^ Ganguli, Tania. "Jaguars hire Mike Mularkey as head coach". Jacksonville.com. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts - September 23rd, 2012". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  26. ^ "2012 Jacksonville Jaguars Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  27. ^ "Jaguars fire coach Mike Mularkey after the worst season in franchise history". CBS News. January 10, 2013.
  28. ^ "Jaguars fire head coach Mike Mularkey". USA Today. January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
  29. ^ Paul Kuharksy (November 4, 2015). "Titans fire coach Ken Whisenhunt". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  30. ^ "2015 Tennessee Titans Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  31. ^ Josh Alpert (January 16, 2016). "Titans announce hiring of Mike Mularkey as head coach". Pro Football Talk.
  32. ^ Adam Schefter [@AdamSchefter] (January 16, 2016). "Titans are hiring HC Mike Mularkey, sources told ESPN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  33. ^ Paul Kuharksy (January 18, 2016). "Mike Mularkey's new agreement with Titans is for three years". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  34. ^ "Titans hire Mike Mularkey, 3 things to know about an uninspiring hire". CBSSports.com.
  35. ^ "Titans hire Terry Robiskie as offensive coordinator". NFL.com. January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  36. ^ "Three coordinators hired, LeBeau, Robiskie, April". Tennessee Titans. January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  37. ^ Jim Wyatt (January 1, 2017). "Titans beat Texans, Finish season 9-7". Tennessee Titans. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  38. ^ "Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs - December 18th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  39. ^ "2016 Tennessee Titans Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  40. ^ "Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans Team Encyclopedia". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  41. ^ "Five Titans selected to 2017 Pro Bowl team". Tennessee Titans. December 20, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  42. ^ "2017 Tennessee Titans Statistics & Players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  43. ^ "Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans - December 31st, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  44. ^ "Wild Card - Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs - January 6th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  45. ^ "Divisional Round - Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots - January 13th, 2018". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  46. ^ "Mike Mularkey, Titans mutually agree to part ways". NFL.com. January 15, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  47. ^ "Falcons hire former Bucs coach Dirk Koetter as new OC". NFL.com. January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  48. ^ McFadden, Will (January 9, 2020). "Mike Mularkey announces retirement from coaching". Atlanta Falcons. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  49. ^ "UNC's Felder, Davidson transfer; McAdoo dismissed". Raleigh, North Carolina: WRAL-TV. May 9, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2021.