Mularkey has 19 years of NFL coaching experience, including three seasons as a head coach. A former NFL tight end, he played nine seasons and a total of 114 games with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers. He joins the Titans after one season as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012, and four seasons (2008-11) as offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
“Mike brings a wealth of experience, both as a coordinator and a head coach,” said Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt. “Selfishly, for me, he brings a lot to the table, having been in this situation before. There are things that I will use him for moving forward that will help us a team. He has had a lot of success in this league and we are lucky to have him.”
Mularkey became the fourth head coach in Jaguars history in 2012 and was let go after a 2-14 season. Prior to becoming head coach for the Jaguars, he spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Falcons. While in Atlanta, the team amassed a 43-21 record and emerged as one of the best offenses in the NFL. In three of the four seasons, the offense produced a 1,000-yard rusher, 1,000-yard receiver and a 3,000-yard passer in the same campaign. Roddy White’s 5,220-receiving yards over the four-year period were the most in the NFL. Under his watch, quarterback Matt Ryan earned AP Rookie of the Year honors (2008) and his first Pro Bowl appearance (2010). Additionally, tight end Tony Gonzalez totaled 233 receptions and 19 touchdowns in their three years together. In 2010, Mularkey was named “Coordinator of the Year” by the Sporting News.
“I am excited to be back in the league,” said Mularkey. “I took some time off for family time. I got a chance to do some things with them, which I haven’t gotten to do over the last 20 years of coaching. I am definitely excited to get back and excited to get back with Ken. We go way back in our relationship, back to when we were players in the NFL and even to college when he was at Georgia Tech and I was at Florida. We have been friends for a long time and we had an opportunity to work together in Pittsburgh and had some success there and hopefully I will help him have success here in Nashville. As a coach I am diligent about the details of every little thing. I am very big into making sure my guys are prepared and I really like them to know what is going to happen before it happens. With my background and knowledge as a player and coach, I can be a resource. I do love what I do and they will see that from me.”
Mularkey spent two seasons (2004-05) as head coach for the Buffalo Bills, where he posted a 14-18 record. In his first season with the Bills, the team finished 9-7 to post their only winning season over the last decade. He also spent two seasons (2006-07) with the Miami Dolphins as offensive coordinator under Nick Saban in 2006 and tight ends coach in 2007 under Cam Cameron.
From 1996-2003, Mularkey spent eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. His first five seasons were as tight ends coach and the final three were as offensive coordinator. As tight ends coach, he worked with Mark Bruener and aided an elite rushing attack. As offensive coordinator, he directed two top five offenses (3rd, 2001 and 5th, 2002) and earned Assistant Coach of the Year in 2001 from the Pro Football Writers of America.
He entered the coaching ranks as an offensive line coach for Concordia College in 1993 and then joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a quality control coach in 1994 and tight ends coach in 1995.
Mularkey was a ninth-round selection by the San Francisco 49ers in 1983, after a college career at the University of Florida. He was waived following his first training camp, but was signed by the Vikings, where he played the next six seasons. Mularkey finished his career by playing three years with Pittsburgh. He totaled 102 receptions and 1,222 career yards in 114 games played.
Raised in South Florida, Mularkey and his wife Betsy, have two sons – Patrick and Shane.