Florida introduces Billy Napier as football coach

Napier is the 28th head coach in program history
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 7:18 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - It only took Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin one week to hire Billy Napier as the next head coach of the Gators football team, and a week after that, the university held Napier’s introductory press conference.

On a picture perfect Sunday afternoon, the 42-year-old Napier addressed a room full of reporters eager to hear from the program’s 28th head coach. The former UL-Lafayette head man spoke with a calm, methodical purpose. He shared his enthusiasm for the opportunity to be in this position and how he planned to bring the Gator standard back to its level of excellence.

“We’re going to build the best football team in the SEC and the best program in the SEC,” said Florida Head Coach Billy Napier. “We must have a championship approach in every thing we do...every decision, every habit along the way is made with the end goal in mind, and that is to be a champion.”

Napier takes over a program that saw success under his predecessor, Dan Mullen, who was 34-15 in his four years at the helm, including three straight New Year’s six bowl berths, but after falling to 5-6 this season, Mullen was fired.

With Gator Nation yearning for sustained success on the field and the recruiting trail, against its biggest rivals, it was a no-brainer for Stricklin to bring in Napier.

“I kept on hearing certain descriptions over and over again,” said Stricklin. “Words like genuine, authentic, organized, detailed, have consistency and sustained success, those are the traits that are going to be imperative.”

Napier’s contract is for seven years and his starting salary is $7.1 million. That figure could increase to $7.7 million by 2028.

He could also earn up to $1.5 million in incentives.

The new head coach will also have a $7.5 million salary pool for assistant coaches.

Napier also said he will call the offensive plays next season.

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