Gators hire Billy Napier as head coach


GAINESVILLE, Fla – The Gators have selected Billy Napier as the 28th head coach in program history, University of Florida athletic director Scott stricklin announced Sunday.

Napier, who has spent the past four seasons as Louisiana’s head coach (2018-21), will lead the Ragin ‘Cajuns in this year’s Sun Belt Conference Championship game when they face App State on Saturday 4 December.

He will arrive in Gainesville on Sunday, December 5, and a press conference will be held the same day on campus. Details of the press conference will be communicated at a later date.

“We are touched and honored to accept this incredible opportunity to be the head coach of football for the University of Florida,” said Napier. “Our team, staff and entire organization will work daily to establish a program with integrity and class that we can all be proud of. Most importantly, we will build a culture focused on impact on our players: as people, as students and in the field.

“We welcome expectations and are excited about the challenge ahead. We’ll get a special group of people together and get to work right away to create a great program. Special thanks to President Dr Fuchs and the Sporting Director Scott stricklin. We can’t wait to get to Gainesville and start this trip! “

“I have followed and studied Billy Napier’s career with interest, and he became the primary target immediately upon opening this position,” said Stricklin. “We believed he would be a great leader for the Gators, which is why he was the only candidate I met for the job.

“Billy’s ability to bring together very talented people – players, coaches and staff – along with his vision of having a strong, relationship-based culture is what made him such an attractive choice. There is a detailed plan for player development, staffing and recruiting, as well as a sustained desire to improve, and it’s easy to see why he’s been successful.

“I’m delighted that Billy, Ali, Annie, Sammy Nelson and Charlie are coming to Gainesville. It’s an exciting day for the Gators.”

Napier, whose coaching experience includes stops in Alabama, Clemson, Arizona State, Colorado State and South Carolina State, compiled a 39-12 overall record with the Ragin ‘Cajuns. The 42-year-old led Louisiana to four Sun Belt Conference West Division tiles and a conference championship while at UL Lafayette.

Napier, who was named Louisiana Sports Writer Association Coach of the Year in 2020 and Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year in 2019, propelled the Ragin ‘Cajuns to unprecedented heights when the team did its entry into the national ranking last year for the first time in the modern era. The team finished the 2020 campaign ranked 15th in the Top 25 APs, 16th in the USA Today / Amway Coaching Poll, and 19th in the College Football Playoff, Louisiana’s highest ranking in all three polls.

Louisiana has a 27-7 record against Sun Belt opposition under Napier, including a perfect 16-0
scores against members of the Western Division of the conference.

Considered one of college football’s most talented scouts, Napier was instrumental in the 2011 and 2015 Nationals in Alabama, where he served as wide receivers coach (2013-17) and offensive analyst (2011) under the direction of head coach Nick Saban. .

While at Tuscaloosa, Napier coached 2014 Biletnikoff Award winner Amari Cooper, who was the No.4 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

In 70 games with Alabama, Napier helped the Tide to a combined 63-7 record in five seasons, including the 26-game winning streak of 2015-16. Alabama’s offense was averaging 6.27 yards per game and 36.4 points per game during that streak.

Prior to Alabama, Napier spent seven seasons at Clemson where he first began his career as a graduate assistant (2003-04) and went on to serve as a recruiting coach / coordinator (2006-08) and offensive coordinator / quarterback coach (2009-10).

In his three seasons as the Tiger’s recruiting coordinator, Napier compiled two top 25 recruiting classes, and in 2008 his class was ranked second in the country by ESPN.com.

In 2009, in Napier’s first season as Clemson’s offensive coordinator, the Tigers scored a school record 436 points and collected 54 touchdowns, the third-highest in school history. Napier’s offense led the way that year, helping Clemson win the ACC Atlantic Division title.

Napier was also offensive coordinator at Arizona State (2017) and assistant head coach / quarterback coach at Colorado State (2012).

Napier is a graduate of Furman University, where he was letterter for four years and twice selected to the All-Southern Conference as the school’s starting quarterback.

Napier grew up in Chatsworth, Georgia, and graduated from Murray County High School in 1998. He is married to former Ali Gunn and the couple have a daughter, Annie, and sons, Sammy Nelson and Charlie. He received his bachelor’s degree in health and exercise science from Furman in 2002.

Billy Napier’s training history

Year School, post (register as HC)
2022-Pres. Florida, head coach
2018-2021 Louisiana, head coach (39-12)
2017 Arizona State, Offensive Coordinator / QB
2013-17 Alabama, assistant coach / WR
2012 Colorado State, Assistant Coach / QB
2011 Alabama, offensive analyst
2009-10 Clemson, offensive coordinator / QB
2006-08 Clemson, Assistant Coach / TE, Recruitment
2005 South Carolina State Assistant Coach / QB
2003-04 Clemson, graduate assistant


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