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Mike Mularkey
Head Coach

Biography

The Tennessee Titans hired Mike Mularkey on a permanent basis, removing his interim tag and making him the 18th head coach in franchise history, on January 16, 2016. He initially took over the team as the interim head coach on Nov. 3 and coached the remaining nine games of the 2015 season.

Mularkey has 22 years of NFL coaching experience, including four-plus seasons as a head coach and eight as an offensive coordinator, with coaching stops in Jacksonville, Atlanta, Miami, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. In five of his eight seasons as a coordinator, Mularkey’s teams went to the playoffs.

In his first full season as the Titans head coach, his six-win improvement matched a franchise record for a turnaround, going from 3-13 in 2015 to 9-7 in 2016. That improvement came as he created a cultural foundation with players that are tough, dependable, team-first and accountable. With that mindset, he was able to mold a group of returning players, 13 free agents/waiver claims and 10 rookies together into a team that challenged for a playoff spot. Five of the nine wins came against teams that advanced to the playoffs. Both sides of the ball saw significant improvement. The offense ranked 11th in the NFL in total offense, the highest ranking since 2004, third in rushing offense, first in red zone efficiency, third in third-down efficiency and seventh in sacks allowed (32nd in 2015). Defensively, the team ranked second in rush defense, sixth in third-down defense and sixth in sacks. Behind second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, the team scored the most points in a season (389) since 2003, including a franchise-best streak of three consecutive games scoring 35 or more points. The team success led to five players earning Pro Bowl invitations – Taylor Lewan, Brian Orakpo, DeMarco Murray, Jurrell Casey, Delanie Walker – and one first-team All-Pro player in rookie tackle Jack Conklin.
The Tennessee Titans hired Mike Mularkey on a permanent basis, removing his interim tag and making him the 18th head coach in franchise history, on January 16, 2016. He initially took over the team as the interim head coach on Nov. 3 and coached the remaining nine games of the 2015 season.

Mularkey has 22 years of NFL coaching experience, including four-plus seasons as a head coach and eight as an offensive coordinator, with coaching stops in Jacksonville, Atlanta, Miami, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. In five of his eight seasons as a coordinator, Mularkey’s teams went to the playoffs.

In his first full season as the Titans head coach, his six-win improvement matched a franchise record for a turnaround, going from 3-13 in 2015 to 9-7 in 2016. That improvement came as he created a cultural foundation with players that are tough, dependable, team-first and accountable. With that mindset, he was able to mold a group of returning players, 13 free agents/waiver claims and 10 rookies together into a team that challenged for a playoff spot. Five of the nine wins came against teams that advanced to the playoffs. Both sides of the ball saw significant improvement. The offense ranked 11th in the NFL in total offense, the highest ranking since 2004, third in rushing offense, first in red zone efficiency, third in third-down efficiency and seventh in sacks allowed (32nd in 2015). Defensively, the team ranked second in rush defense, sixth in third-down defense and sixth in sacks. Behind second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, the team scored the most points in a season (389) since 2003, including a franchise-best streak of three consecutive games scoring 35 or more points. The team success led to five players earning Pro Bowl invitations – Taylor Lewan, Brian Orakpo, DeMarco Murray, Jurrell Casey, Delanie Walker – and one first-team All-Pro player in rookie tackle Jack Conklin.

As a former NFL tight end, Mularkey played a total of 114 games in nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers.  His experience as a player has molded his style as a coach - emphasizing physical, smart play. Including his rookie preseason with the 49ers, Mularkey spent his career playing for three of the NFL’s legendary coaches in Bill Walsh, Bud Grant and Chuck Noll. As an assistant coach, Mularkey has served on the staffs of Sam Wyche, Bill Cowher, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron, Mike Smith and Ken Whisenhunt.

In his two seasons (2014-15) working with the tight ends in Tennessee, Mularkey guided Delanie Walker to franchise and career marks. In consecutive seasons, he set the franchise mark for receiving yards by a tight end with 890 (2014) and 1,088 (2015) and totaled 157 grabs over the two seasons, the second-highest total by an NFL tight end. In 2015, Walker led NFL tight ends in receptions with 94 and earned his first Pro Bowl selection.

Mularkey joined the Titans after one season (2012) with the Jacksonville Jaguars as the franchise’s fourth head coach, and four seasons (2008-11) with the Atlanta Falcons as offensive coordinator. Over the four-year time span with the Falcons, the team advanced to the postseason three times, ranked ninth in the NFL in total yards (354.8 per game), seventh in points (24.5), eighth in rushing yards (125.7), third in fewest turnovers (84), fourth in fewest sacks allowed (93), and sixth in third down conversions (44.2).

In three of the four years with the Falcons, Mularkey’s offense produced a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher in the same season. His guidance saw the rise of QB Matt Ryan, WR Roddy White, RB Michael Turner; and the continued growth of TE Tony Gonzalez, who totaled 233 receptions and 19 touchdowns in their three years together. In 2010, Sporting News named Mularkey “Coordinator of the Year.”

Prior to his time with the Falcons, Mularkey spent two seasons (2006-07) with the Miami Dolphins as the offensive coordinator in 2006, and tight ends coach in 2007. He joined the Dolphins after serving as head coach for the Buffalo Bills for two seasons (2004-05).

Eight seasons (1996-2003) with the Pittsburgh Steelers preceded Mularkey’s time with the Bills. Mularkey served as the tight ends coach in his first five seasons. He molded Mark Bruener into an outstanding run-blocking tight end, while Jerome Bettis eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for five straight years. His final three seasons were spent as offensive coordinator, during which time 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.

Mularkey entered the coaching ranks in 1993, overseeing the offensive line at Concordia College. He transitioned to the NFL in 1994, where he began as a quality control coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before being promoted to tight ends coach the following season (1995).

Selected in the ninth round by the San Francisco 49ers in 1983, Mularkey was waived following his first training camp. He was signed by the Vikings, where he played for six seasons, before finishing his career with three years at Pittsburgh. He totaled 102 receptions and 1,222 career yards.

A graduate of Northeast High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Mularkey played quarterback and earned a scholarship to the University of Florida. He was a three-year letterman at tight end for the Gators from 1979-82. He and his wife, Betsy, have two sons -- Patrick and Shane.

Mike Mularkey’s Coaching Timeline:
2016-17: Head Coach, Tennessee Titans
2015: Interim Head Coach, Tennessee Titans
2015: Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends, Tennessee Titans
2014: Tight Ends, Tennessee Titans
2012: Head Coach, Jacksonville Jaguars
2008-2011: Offensive Coordinator, Atlanta Falcons
2007: Tight Ends, Miami Dolphins
2006: Offensive Coordinator, Miami Dolphins
2004-2005: Head Coach, Buffalo Bills
2001-2003: Offensive Coordinator, Pittsburgh Steelers
1996-2000: Tight Ends, Pittsburgh Steelers
1995: Tight Ends, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1994: Quality Control, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1993: Offensive Line, Concordia College

Mike Mularkey’s Playing Timeline:
1989-1991: Tight End, Pittsburgh Steelers
1983-1988: Tight End, Minnesota Vikings

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