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.
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.
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