Florida Gators Announce Next Head Football Coach

By Jason Hall

November 28, 2021

Alabama v Florida
Photo: Getty Images

The University of Florida has hired Billy Napier as its next head football coach, the school announced Sunday (November 28) on its official website.

The announcement came after numerous reports indicated that the former University of Louisiana head coach was expected to be hired as the Gators' next head coach.

"We are humbled and honored to accept this incredible opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Florida," Napier said in a news release. "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. Kent Fuchs and Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. We look forward to getting to Gainesville and starting this journey!"

Napier spent the last four seasons the Ragin' Cajuns, leading Louisiana to a Sun Belt Conference title in 2020, an upcoming Sun Belt Conference Championship Game appearance against Appalachian State scheduled for Saturday (December 4) and a 39-12 (27-5 Sun Belt) record.

"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.

Napier is expected to arrive in Gainesville and appear at a press conference on campus on Sunday.

The announcement comes exactly one week after the University of Florida announced it has "parted ways" with football head coach Dan Mullen last Sunday (November 21).

Mullen -- who had previously served as the Gators' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under former head coach Urban Meyer from 2005-08 -- was hired as Florida's head coach in 2018 after nine seasons at Mississippi State.

The 49-year-old led the Gators to double-digit win totals during his first two seasons as head coach, as well as an SEC East Division title in 2020 and three New Year Six Bowl appearances.

However, Florida failed to live up to lofty preseason expectations as a national contender, spiraling to a disappointing 5-6 (2-6 SEC) record in 2021, which included losing four of its last five games.

Mullen finished his tenure in Gainesville with a 34-15 (21-13 SEC) overall record, totaling a 103-61 (54-52 SEC) career record as a head coach.

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