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Florida football coach: Billy Napier named next head coach of Gators

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns coach has had plenty of opportunities for SEC jobs before. He is finally taking his shot.

Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns head coach Billy Napier watches his team play against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. The Ragin Cajuns beat the Cyclones 31-14. Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

11/28 P.M. update: It is now official. Billy Napier will be the next head coach of the Florida Gators. The new head man in Gainesville will be introduced next Sunday, allowing for him to coach Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship game the day prior.

11/28 P.M. update: We continue to inch closer and closer to this being official. Napier is reportedly informing his staff and players at Louisiana of the move. The Ragin’ Cajuns are set to host Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Championship Game this Saturday.

11/28 P.M. update: It seems that both sides are closing in on making this thing official. Billy Napier could be announced as the next head man in Gainesville as early as Sunday afternoon.

It hasn’t been the first half the Florida Gators wanted against the Florida State Seminoles, as the teams are tied 7-7 at halftime with a bowl berth on the line.

But the fans might be a bit more friendly to the potential hiring of Billy Napier as the new head coach of the Florida Gators, as he has emerged as a leading candidate according to Ross Dellenger and Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated.

Louisiana coach Billy Napier has emerged as the leading candidate for the Florida job, multiple sources tell Sports Illustrated.

If a deal with the Gators comes together within the next week, Napier is still expected to coach the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Sun Belt championship game next Saturday against Appalachian State, sources say. Napier has compiled a 38–12 career record at Louisiana heading into 2021’s regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe. The Ragin’ Cajuns are 10–1 this year.

Napier has been linked to multiple opportunities for head coaching jobs in the SEC before, including at Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The LSU Tigers are right down the road and in need of a coach with Ed Orgeron leaving, and he wouldn’t even have to change his 403(b) retirement plan.

But Gators AD Scott Stricklin rarely allows things to get out that aren’t close to happening. We’ll see if this deal gets done perhaps even during the second half of the FSU game, which coincidentally is exactly when Stricklin hired his last coach in Dan Mullen four years ago.