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What new Florida football coach Billy Napier said about hiring Louisiana assistant coaches

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Dec. 5, 2021

After working his final game as Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun football coach, new Florida coach Billy Napier would not say which UL assistant coaches and staff members he will take to Gainesville.

But Napier indicated at least a few, if not more, will go – some sooner, some later.

“The University of Florida will release those things,” he said after UL (12-1) beat Appalachian State 24-16 on Saturday in the Sun Belt Conference championship game at Cajun Field.

“But just to kind of make sure we’re all the same page here: We’re gonna take a small group of people with us to work through signing day.”

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The NCAA’s three-day early signing period opens Dec. 15.

Napier, who’s signed a reported seven-year, $51.8 million deal, was named Florida’s coach on Nov. 28 but stayed to coach the Sun Belt title game.

He was introduced Sunday afternoon in Gainesville.

UL named tight ends coach/co-defensive coordinator Michael Desormeaux as its new head coach Sunday.

Napier, who coached UL to 12 straight wins after a season-opening loss to Texas, said there’s “basically a little bit of a gentleman’s agreement here that it’s important to our (Cajuns) team, and our players, and our administration to get through signing day … (and) the bowl game.”

“This group wants to win 13 in a row,” Napier said, “so to get up and run out of here with everybody would not be the right thing to do.

“So we’re going to take a very small group. The rest of the staff will coach (UL) the rest of the way. And then, after signing day’s over, we’ll start working on, really, assembling the rest of the organization. That’s the approach we’ll take.”

Running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, a former LSU running backs coach, is one candidate to follow Napier to Florida, as is receivers coach/co-offensive coordinator Tim Leger.

So is defensive coordinator Patrick Toney, who also received an offer earlier this season to be Texas Tech’s defensive coordinator.

Strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke – who held the same post at Texas A&M and Georgia, and started as an Alabama staff member – is a likely possibility to go as well.

UL athletic director Bryan Maggard said Sunday that Toney and Hocke are not remaining at UL with Desormeaux. He did not specify where they are going.

Rory Segrest, who previously coached defensive lines at Arkansas and with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, is another candidate to go is defensive line coach

Segrest has been at UL all four years with Napier, as have Toney, Desormeaux, Leger and Juluke.

Another potential Napier hire for Florida is former Georgia offensive line coach Rob Sale, who coached Arizona State’s offensive line when Napier was offensive coordinator there and who coached UL’s offensive line for three seasons before leaving this year to coach the New York Giants offense line.