Napier of Florida plans to hire ‘unprecedented’ support staff NWN News

GAINESVILE, Fla. (NWN) — New Florida coach Billy Napier plans to hire an “unprecedented” support staff, he said Sunday.

Napier had about 40 analysts in Louisiana-Lafayette and could end up with even more in Gainesville. His vision for Florida — and athletic director Scott Stricklin’s desire to make it a reality — stood out during Napier’s formal introduction.

Napier and his family arrived at the airport in a sea of ​​fans winged in orange and blue, waiting for more to get out of a van outside Florida Field. It was all but surreal for the 42-year-old coach, who has been one of college football’s rising stars in recent years.

“I’m drinking water through a firehose right now,” Napier said.

“These jobs will chew on you and spit you out if you let them, right?” He added later. “I think we have to have perspective. We have to have a balance. I think that’s one of the reasons I believe in the infrastructure that we’re going to build. … It’s going to be the hardest start, but one Once we get this machine on, I think we’ll be able to get some momentum in life where we can enjoy.”

Napier took on the task without visiting Florida’s campus, its football facilities, or swamps. His final visit to Gainesville came in 2011 as an analyst in Alabama, trailing the Gators 38-10. Napier remembers it well as it was part of one of the most impressive seasons of his coaching career.

“In that one year, I think I learned a lot more than I learned in the last 10,” he said.

Napier took a closer look at how legendary coach Nick Saban built and operated the Alabama program, and he plans to model much of Florida’s way after the Alabama powerhouse.

“We’re going to hire an army of people here,” he said. “We are going to create an infrastructure not only in personnel department but also in campus recruitment, creative media, name, image and likeness. We have a great vision for the organization we are going to build here “

There may be some wrinkles in Napier’s plan.

“Okay, we’re going to try to separate,” he said. “We’re going to try to recruit our personality, our spin on it, our brand. We’re the University of Florida. … It’s going to take some time. I learned a lot. There’s no question we can do it.” Will apply here.”

Stricklin made it clear that he was ready for the changes to come, no matter the cost.

“He gives such a compelling reason why these things are going to help improve getters,” Stricklin said. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, we need this because.’ It was like, ‘We need this because’ and then he goes through a detailed plan of what the pieces are, how they fit together and why it matters.

“When someone can explain why they need the resources, it becomes really easy to invest in that.”

Napier signed a term sheet on Sunday that outlines the key points in his seven-year, $51.8 million contract. He would earn $7.1 million in his first season and would receive a $100,000 increase annually from each of the remaining six years.

His deal also includes an annual performance bonus that can total as much as $1.5 million. Napier receives a $100,000 signing bonus to help cover expenses on the go, two luxury cars, 16 tickets to each home and outdoor game, 18 seats in a suite for home games, and the University Athletic Association for personal use aircraft, valued at up to $70,000. Year.

The Gators will pay Louisiana-Lafayette a $3 million buyout of Napier. His contract is guaranteed 85%, which means he’ll get that percentage if Florida fires him for no reason. Meanwhile, Napier has a sliding buyout to leave Florida — that figure starts at $7 million before December 31, 2022 and falls each after that.

“Unfortunately, the market is what the market is,” Stricklin said. “Here’s the thing: If Billy is as successful as I think he’s going to be, we’ll never have to negotiate a buyout. But, apparently, those things are there for a reason.”

Napier went 40-12 in four seasons at Lafayette, including 33-5 in the last three years. His time there ended with the Sun Belt Championship.

He called Florida’s proposal “the right place at the right time, with the right people and the right leadership.”

It could be too many people in the end. But the Gators are close to opening an $85 million football facility that will be able to house a much larger workforce.

“We might have to go build some barracks, right?” Stricklin joked. “He has the right vision. He’s the right person. I love the character he displays, the humility he displays, but he also has a plan. He’s very thoughtful. He knows he’s out there.” What is he doing.”

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