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Look: New Florida Head Coach Billy Napier Lands in Gainesville

The new man in charge of the Florida Gators football program has landed in Gainesville.

A new era of Florida football has officially arrived as new Gators head coach Billy Napier landed at the Gainesville Regional Airport around 11:48 a.m. Sunday.

He was greeted by Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin, the Gator Band and others on the runway.

Billy Napier

Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier arrives in Gainesville. Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Alex Shepherd

Billy Napier

Napier greets Albert and Alberta on the Gainesville Regional Airport runway. Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Zach Goodall

Billy Napier

Billy Napier's first chomp as the Gators' head coach. Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Zach Goodall

Billy Napier

Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Zach Goodall

Billy Napier

Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Zach Goodall

Billy Napier

Napier smiles as he's met by Gator fans outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Photo: Billy Napier; Credit: Zach Goodall

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During his four years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Napier held a 40-12 record, was named Sun Belt Coach of the Year twice and finished first in the conference’s West Division every year.

He led the program to their first-ever Sun Belt Conference Championship Saturday, going out in style with a 24-16 victory over Appalachian State.

Now, his attention turns fully to the Florida program, as he gears up for a challenging ride as the man at the helm for the Gators.

This morning, Napier’s Twitter page received an orange and blue makeover and was followed up by a quote from former Stanford head coach Bill Walsh about the importance of culture and how it pertains to building a thriving program.

“The culture precedes positive results,” he said. “Champions behave like champions before they’re champions; they have a winning standard of performance before they are winners.”

Florida was willing to commit to Napier long-term with the hopes that he can return the UF program to national prominence after a disappointing 6-6 season.

Napier and the Gators agreed to a seven-year, $51.8 million contract, becoming the fifth-highest-paid head coach in the SEC. His salary will start at $7.1 million in year one and he will earn a $100,000 pay raise for every year of the contract.

Napier’s introductory press conference, officially deeming him as Florida’s next head coach, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.