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Billy Napier
File:2018-0723-SBCMD-BillyNapier.png
Napier at 2018 Sun Belt Media Day
Sport(s)Football
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamLouisiana Ragin' Cajuns
ConferenceSun Belt
Record7–8
Biographical details
Born (1979-07-21) July 21, 1979 (age 40)
Chatsworth, Georgia
Alma materFurman University
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback
Head coaching record
Overall7–8
Bowls0–1
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Sun Belt West (2018)

Billy Napier (born July 21, 1979) is an American football coach currently serving as the head coach of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.

Playing careerEdit

Napier was a standout quarterback for Murray County High School in his hometown of Chatsworth, Georgia, where he played for his father who was his head coach. He was named All-State in 1997 and accepted a scholarship to play football at Furman University.[1] During his time with the Furman Paladins, Napier was a four-time letterman, and took over the starting quarterback duties for his junior and senior seasons. The Paladins won two conference championships during Napier's time there, and he was selected to two All-Southern Conference teams at quarterback.[2] In his junior year, he led his team to the 2001 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship Game, losing to Montana, 13–6.[3]

Coaching careerEdit

Early Coaching Career (Clemson, SC State)Edit

After graduating from Furman, he headed to Clemson as a graduate assistant. Following a two-year stint as a GA at Clemson, he was hired as the QB coach at South Carolina State in 2004. After only one year with SC State, Napier chose to return to Clemson when he accepted a job with dual roles as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator on Tommy Bowden's staff. In his third year as TE coach and recruiting coordinator, Tommy Bowden resigned midseason after early season struggles that failed to meet high expectations, and Napier gave up his roles as RC and TE coach when he was named QB coach by newly appointed interim head coach Dabo Swinney. His new role also included assisting Swinney with the playcalling duties for the remainder of the year.[4]

Alabama, Colorado State, and Arizona StateEdit

When Swinney was promoted from interim head coach to full-time head coach after the 2008 season, Napier was promoted to offensive coordinator while retaining his duties as QB coach.[5] After a 2009 season where Clemson would go on to win the ACC Atlantic Division behind the strength of Napier's offense that scored a then school record 436 points,[6] Napier's 2010 offense output declined mightily ultimately leading to Napier's termination at the end of the 2010 season.[7] Within only a few weeks of being dismissed as OC at Clemson, Napier was contacted by Nick Saban from Alabama and offered a job as an offensive analyst. After spending the 2011 season as an analyst on Saban's staff, Napier earned a championship ring following Alabama's win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. As a result of his experience under Saban during the 2011 season as well as the time spent working closely with fellow Alabama assistant Jim McElwain, Napier was able to get back into hands on coaching by following McElwain to Colorado State to become the QB coach and assistant head coach. Napier didn't stay in Colorado for long as Saban brought him back to Tuscaloosa at the end of the 2012 season to take over as WR coach going into the 2013 season. After a four-year stint as Alabama's WR coach including a second national championship in January 2016, he was hired by Todd Graham to become offensive coordinator at Arizona State.[8] In his first season back at OC since being fired as Clemson's OC back in 2010 Arizona State finished with a 7–5 record and a Sun Bowl trip with Napier's offense leading the way. Arizona State fired head coach Todd Graham after the 2017 season and brought in former NFL coach Herm Edwards who stated publicly that Napier would be able to continue in his role as OC if he would like. However, Napier declined the opportunity to remain at ASU as the offensive coordinator.[9]

Head Coaching Career (Louisiana)Edit

On December 15, 2017 Billy Napier accepted the head coaching job of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.[10] This is Napier's first time as a head coach of a college football team. After arriving in December of 2017, his first season with the team resulted in a win of the western SBC division, and a bowl appearance (Cure Bowl losing to the Tulane Green Wave), resulting in an overall record of 7-7. In the preseason of the 2019 season, Napier's Cajuns were picked to finish 1st in the West Division and picked to finish second in the conference behind one vote to Appalachian State, a team that the Cajuns have never defeated in their overall record. In addition, eight of his Cajuns were chosen in the preseason all-conference team. This is a feat that has not been accomplished since the early Hudspeth years. [11]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns (Sun Belt Conference) (2018–present)
2018 Louisiana 7–7 5–3 T–1st (West) L Cure
2019 Louisiana 0–1 0–0
Louisiana: 7–8 5–3
Total: 7–8
Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Chatsworth native Napier named head coach at University of Louisiana at Lafayette". http://www.dailycitizen.news/sports/local_sports/chatsworth-native-napier-named-head-coach-at-louisiana-lafayette/article_1678386e-738b-5fb7-b882-6b24550c928e.html/.
  2. "Getting to Know New UL Football Coach Billy Napier". http://espn1420.com/getting-to-know-possible-ul-football-coach-billy-napier/.
  3. "Grizzlies 13, Furman 6 (box score)". Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana): p. 4S. December 22, 2001. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/28078614/grizzlies_13_furman_6_box_score/. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  4. "Swinney Announces Staff Changes". http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=28500&ATCLID=205521699&SPID=103701&SPSID=657769.
  5. "Swinney Announces Football Staff Assignments for 2009". http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=28500&ATCLID=205525803&SPID=103701&SPSID=657769.
  6. "Former Alabama, Clemson assistant Billy Napier to take helm as Ragin' Cajuns football coach". http://www.theadvocate.com/acadiana/sports/ul_lafayette/article_88a67e56-e1c2-11e7-b10e-0bbb17c00098.html.
  7. "Napier and Powell Will Not Return to Clemson Coaching Staff". http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=28500&ATCLID=205523412&SPID=103701&SPSID=657769.
  8. "Arizona State hires Alabama receivers coach Billy Napier as offensive coordinator". https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2017/01/28/arizona-state-football-billy-napier-offensive-coordinator-alabama/97206252/.
  9. "Arizona State's hiring of Herm Edwards further under microscope after Billy Napier's departure". https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/columnist/dan-wolken/2017/12/15/arizona-states-hiring-herm-edwards-scrutiny-departure-billy-napier/956347001/.
  10. "UL hires former Alabama assistant Billy Napier as football coach". http://www.nola.com/sports/index.ssf/2017/12/ull_football_coach_billy_napie.html/.
  11. https://ragincajuns.com/news/2019/7/18/football-eight-ragin-cajuns-named-to-sun-belt-preseason-all-conference-teams.aspx

External linksEdit

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