Florida head coach Billy Napier bringing what he learned from UL-Lafayette to Gainesville
BATON ROUGE - There are two new head coaches in the SEC this year, and both with Louisiana ties.
Because Scott Woodward passed on Billy Napier for Brian Kelly, these two coaches may be compared for the rest of their SEC careers.
"Brian's an unbelievable coach. Got nothing but respect for him--nothing but respect for LSU. So, you know, I'm focused on University of Florida, and we put together a great group of people," Napier said. "But I will tell you this, I am so appreciative of the experience I had in that state."
Napier had it good in Lafayette, now he's in Gainesville where he's basically starting a program over again.
"We're a work in progress, much like we were in year one there. We got a lot of work to do to improve. But I'm confident we've got the resources and the people to do that," Napier said.
Despite being in a talent rich state, the athletic department and specifically the facilities have been rather poor for years.
"I think that the administration was willing to collaborate, they believed in our plan, they've given us the resources to execute our plan."
Along with facility upgrades, Napier made sure to bring some Louisiana people with him to Gainesville to get up and running. Former LSU Tigers Rob Sale is his offensive coordinator, and he grabbed Corey Raymond from LSU to help his defense.
"Corey brings a ton of wisdom," Napier said. "I just think he's a savvy veteran and always a guy that you know, you get, he's gonna be consistent, and you're gonna get his very best."
WBRZ asked Billy if he wanted the LSU and Florida rivalry to continue with the new scheduling format coming out, he said he didn't think that was a permanent option with the new 8 or 9 game schedule.
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