What a ride it’s been for the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
After four seasons, a 39-12 record, and his fourth appearance in the Sun Belt Championship game coming up this Saturday, Billy Napier is moving on to the SEC.
Napier will become the new head football coach at Florida, replacing Dan Mullen. Napier will become the 28th head coach in the Florida Gators program.
Napier released the following statement, courtesy of floridagators.com
“We are humbled and honored to accept this incredible opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Florida,” Napier said. “Our team, staff and entire organization will work daily to establish a program with integrity and class that we all can be proud of. More importantly, we will build a culture that is centered around making an impact on our players: as people, as students, and on the field. We embrace the expectations and are excited about the challenge ahead. We will assemble a special group of people and immediately get to work building a great program. A special thank you to President Dr. Fuchs and Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. We look forward to getting to Gainesville and starting this journey!”
Athletic Director Scott Stricklin also released a statement following the announcement:
“I’ve followed and studied Billy Napier’s career with interest, and he became the primary target immediately after this position came open,” Stricklin said. “We felt confident he would be an excellent leader for the Gators, which is why he was the only candidate I met with about the job. Billy’s ability to bring highly-talented people together — players, coaches, and staff — along with his vision for having a strong, relationship-based culture is what made him such an attractive choice. Add in how detailed his plan is for player development, staffing and recruiting, along with a sustained desire to improve, and it’s easy to see why he’s been successful. I’m so pleased that Billy, Ali, Annie, Sammy Nelson and Charlie are coming to Gainesville. It’s an exciting day for the Gators.”
Louisiana Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard also made the following remarks:
“Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the body of work Coach Napier has accomplished these past four years as the head coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns. The success we have experienced within our football program, under his leadership, has elevated the profile of our Athletics Department, the University of Louisiana, the city of Lafayette, and Acadiana. I am certainly excited for Billy, Ali, Annie, Sammy Nelson, and Charlie, as they begin their next chapter in Gainesville, Florida, and wish them great success.”
Napier will coach Louisiana in the Sun Belt title game this Saturday (2:30 pm, ESPN) and his status as coach for Louisiana’s bowl game is to be determined.