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Report: Billy Napier Emerges as Florida Gators Top Head Coach Candidate

The Florida Gators are zeroing in on who they hope to be their next head coach.

Louisiana head coach Billy Napier has emerged as the leading candidate for the same position with the Florida Gators, sources told Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated.

Forde reports that if Napier is to agree to become Florida's next head coach, the 42-year-old Tennessee native is expected to remain in his role with Louisiana and coach the Ragin' Cajuns in the Sun Belt Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 4 against Appalachian State.

Florida fired former fourth-year head coach Dan Mullen last Sunday after he led the Gators to a 5-6 record in 11 games during the 2021 season.

Napier has spent the last four years as Louisiana's head coach, turning the Ragin' Cajuns from a dormant program into one of the best in the Group of 5. Louisiana has compiled a 38-12 record under Napier, finishing No. 1 in the Sun Belt west division every year. Napier was named the Sun Belt's coach of the year in 2019. The Ragin' Cajuns are also 2-1 in bowl games under Napier.

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Napier, a former assistant under Nick Saban at Alabama and Dabo Swinney at Clemson, has been one of the top head-coaching candidates in the country over the last several years, gaining interest from programs such as the SEC's Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Auburn, and Missouri, as well as Baylor, per numerous reports. 

TCU and LSU were among programs to reportedly express interest in Napier's services this year.

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