Mulligan said John Kasser, the outgoing athletic director at Long Beach, asked Irvine's athletic director, John Caine, for permission to talk to Mulligan, and it was granted.
"I haven't decided anything except it wouldn't hurt to talk with him," Mulligan said. "We go back a way."
Kasser was an assistant athletic director at Irvine before he went to Long Beach.
Kasser, who announced Tuesday that he was leaving Long Beach to become associate director of the College Football Assn., approached Caine Tuesday and contacted Mulligan Wednesday.
"We talked very briefly, and John said, 'We'll have to get together,' " Mulligan said.
That won't be until next week at least. Kasser is out of town this weekend at a meeting of the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament seeding committee and could not be reached for comment.
Ron Palmer resigned as Long Beach coach Monday. He was 23-63 in three seasons.
Mulligan, who won two CIF championships as coach at Long Beach Poly High School, was interviewed for the Long Beach job in 1978 before Tex Winter was hired. He was a candidate last year for the USC job, which went to George Raveling.
Mulligan, whose community college teams at Riverside and Saddleback compiled a 332-118 record, has been at Irvine since 1980 and has four years remaining on his contract. The Anteaters, who finished at 14-14 this season, are 119-82 under Mulligan.