The University of Florida has officially hired its next head football coach. The Florida Gators hire Billy Napier as the head man in Gainesville. Napier will be the 29th head coach in the University of Florida’s history.
Napier is a 42-year old head coach for Louisiana. During his time at Louisiana, Napier has a 38-12 record. This includes three 10 or more win seasons and a conference championship.
Napier is announced as head coach the week before the Ragin’ Cajuns play in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game.
Billy Napier Coaching Career
Napier started his coaching career in 2003 as a graduate assistant at Clemson. After two seasons at Clemson, Napier got his first position coaching gig as the quarterback coach at South Carolina State.
After one season, Clemson brought him back to be their tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He was then promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in 2009. After two seasons, Napier was out at Clemson and was hired by Alabama as an analyst.
Napier spent one season as an analyst for Alabama. Then, he was hired as the assistant head coach and quarterback coach at Colorado State. After the 2012 season, Napier was hired by Nick Saban to be the wide receiver coach at Alabama from 2013-2016.
After the 2016 season, Napier got another chance of being an offensive coordinator at Arizona State. As the offensive coordinator at Arizona State, Napier led the Sun Devils as one of the highest-scoring offenses in the Pac-12. ASU ranked 40th in the country in points per game with 33.3 which also ranked fifth in the conference.
Head Coach at Louisiana
After that season, Napier got his first head coaching job at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In his first season at Louisiana, the Ragin’ Cajuns went 7-7. However, he led Louisiana to the Sun Belt Conference Championship. They also lost to Tulane in the Cure Bowl.
Napier turned the program around the following season with an 11-3 record. They lost in the conference championship again. But, they beat Miami, Ohio in the LendingTree Bowl.
During the 2020 season, Napier went 10-1 including winning his first Sun Belt Conference Championship. Louisiana finished their season with a bowl win against UTSA in the First Responder Bowl. Louisiana finished the season ranked #15 in the AP poll.
Currently, Napier is currently 11-1 with another conference championship berth. He’s also 8-0 in conference play this season. Napier has also developed some players into NFL Draft picks.
Napier’s Players in the NFL
During his career at Louisiana, Napier has had four players drafted. Offensive guard Robert Hunt was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He was selected by the Miami Dolphins. Offensive guard Kevin Dotson was a fourth-round selection. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dotson. Raymond Calais was picked in the seventh round. The running back was tabbed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Finally, running back Elijah Mitchell was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.