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OFFICIAL: University of Florida hires Billy Napier as new head football coach+ Dr. Maggard Statement

 3:07 PM EST November 28, 2021

A little over one week since firing fourth-year head coach Dan Mullen, the Florida Gators have tabbed their fourth head coach in the past ten years.

Billy Napier, the now-former Louisiana-Lafayette head coach and former Clemson and Alabama assistant coach, is headed to Gainesville. First Coast News has confirmed that the Gators waited until Napier met with his team prior to making the announcement Sunday. Sources say he is expected to coach the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Sun Belt Championship Game this Saturday. 


Napier went 39-12 in four seasons with the Ragin’ Cajuns, leading them to four straight Sun Belt Championship Game appearances. Under Napier, the Ragin’ Cajuns played in four bowl games, including winning the 2019 Lending Tree and 2020 First Responder Bowls.

Prior to his first head coaching job with the Ragin’ Cajuns, Napier was the offensive coordinator at Arizona State in 2017, leading the Sun Devils to a 7-5 record and a Sun Bowl trip. Before that, he spent four seasons as Alabama’s wide receivers coach, including winning the 2016 National Championship. He had previously spent the 2011 season in Tuscaloosa as an offensive analyst.

The former Furman quarterback (1999-2002) got his start in coaching at Clemson as a graduate assistant in 2003. He briefly left for South Carolina State in 2005 to become the quarterbacks coach, but returned in 2006 as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Napier stayed on-staff when Dabo Swinney was promoted from interim to full-time head coach, eventually being promoted to offensive coordinator. Under Napier, the Tigers scored a school-record 436 points in 2009; however, a drop in production led to Napier’s firing in 2010.

Both in Tennessee but raised in Chatsworth, Georgia, Napier led Furman to the 2001 NCAA Division I-AA Championship Game and was a four-year letter winner. Napier and his wife, Ali, have four children.

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Statement from Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard


“I could not be happier for and more proud of Billy Napier as he begins his next chapter of coaching at the University of Florida. I want to personally thank him, our student-athletes, and staff for the unprecedented body of work they accomplished these past four years. I know I speak for all of Cajun Nation in wishing Billy, Ali, and the kids great success moving forward. Our efforts will soon turn to identifying the next head coach for our nationally-ranked football program.”