Confirmed COVID-19 cases have continued to spike across the United States. Many believe this is in large part because of the onset of colder weather, along with other contributing factors. These include the re-opening of schools and the re-start of close-contact sports. Yahoo suggests that increased travel is also probably a big cause of it.

Florida, for multiple reasons, has often been one of the hottest spots in America regarding COVID-19. The University of Florida's football team, the Gators, has begun experiencing a surge in cases among players and coaches.

This includes head coach Dan Mullen. The timing of his diagnosis could be considered especially ironic.

Had appeared to downplay the threat of the coronavirus shortly before

Dan Mullen recently announced that he was confirmed to have COVID-19. Mullen is one of several members of the Gators football team to catch the novel Coronavirus. But by the very nature of his position, he's almost inarguably the most high-profile of them.

Just days before, Mullen had made comments that drew strong criticism. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had announced that sports facilities in the state could be filled to capacity. Something that Mullen apparently very much wanted at Gators home games. "Pack the Swamp," Mullen said, referring to the nickname for the Gators home football stadium.

The venue's official name is Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. If it were "packed" to its full capacity, it would mean almost 90,000 fans bunched together. Social distancing would become a virtual impossibility.

Mullen apologized for his words not long after, noted ESPN. Since testing positive for the disease, he's had a relatively humble tone.

Florida's football schedule has been upended because of growing coronavirus cases. The SEC schedule as a whole has taken a pummeling because of it. Mullen is also far from the first Division I head football coach to contract COVID-19. Others include Nick Saban of Florida's conference rival, the University of Alabama. As well as Mike Norvell of in-state rival Florida State University.

Mullen is a former offensive coordinator with Florida

Mullen played Division III NCAA football at Ursinus College, located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. His first Division I coaching position came with Wagner College, where he was a wide receivers coach.

He'd go on to serve as an assistant at several schools. Including the University of Utah, where he was hired as a quarterbacks coach. Mullen eventually helped the team win a Fiesta Bowl. During the game, he was the interim offensive coordinator. The coaching shuffle occurred after head coach Urban Meyer left. For Florida. Meyer later hired Mullen to his coaching staff at Florida as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. During Mullen's tenure there as an assistant, Florida won two national championships and two SEC championships.

Quarterback Tim Tebow also won the Heisman Trophy.

Mullen spent several seasons as the head coach of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, also of the SEC. But he would eventually return to Florida as the head coach. Since then, he's led the Gators to wins at the Orange Bowl and the Peach Bowl.