GAINESVILLE, Florida –New Florida coach Billy Napier plans to hire “unprecedented” support staff.
Napier had nearly 40 analysts in Louisiana-Lafayette and could end up with even more in Gainesville. In addition to an annual budget of $ 7.5 million for 10 assistants, Napier secured $ 5 million to build a support team that included analysts.
His vision for Florida – and sporting director Scott Stricklin’s drive to make it a reality – stood out during Napier’s official introduction on Sunday.
Napier and his family arrived at the airport in a sea of fans dressed in orange and blue, and others waited for him to get out of a van outside Florida Field. It was a bit surreal for the 42-year-old coach, who has been one of the rising stars of college football in recent years.
“I’m drinking water through a fire hose right now,” Napier said.
“These jobs are going to chew you up and spit you out if you let them go, right?” He added later. “I think we have to keep perspective. We have to have a balance. This is one of the reasons why I believe in the infrastructure that we are going to create.… It will be the most difficult at first, but once we put this machine in motion, I think we can have a rhythm of life where we can enjoy.
Napier accepted the position without having visited the Florida campus, its football facilities or the swamp. His last trip to Gainesville was in 2011 as an analyst in Alabama, which rolled the Gators 38-10. Napier remembers it well because it was part of one of the most influential seasons of his coaching career.
“In this year I think I learned more than I learned in the previous 10,” he said.
Napier took a close look at how legendary trainer Nick Saban built and ran the Alabama program, and he plans to model much of Florida’s manners after the Alabama Power Plant.
“We’re going to hire an army of people here,” he said. “We will create an infrastructure not only in the personnel department, but also from campus recruiting, creative media, name, image and likeness. We have a great vision for the organization that we are going to create here.
Napier’s diagram might have some wrinkles.
“Well, we’re going to try to be different,” he said. “We will try to put our personality, our spin on it, our brand in recruiting. We are the University of Florida. … This will take some time.
Stricklin has made it clear that he is open to changes to come, regardless of the cost.
“He gives such a compelling reason why these things are going to help the Gators improve,” Stricklin said. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, we need this because. It was “We need it because” and then he goes through a blueprint of what the pieces are, how they fit together and why it’s going to matter.
“When someone can explain why they need the resources, it’s very easy to want to invest in that. “
Napier signed a conditions sheet on Sunday that outlines the key points of his seven-year, $ 51.8 million contract. He will earn $ 7.1 million in his first season and get a raise of $ 100,000 a year before each of the remaining six years.
His contract also includes annual performance bonuses that could total up to an additional $ 1.5 million. Napier gets $ 100,000 signing bonus to help with moving expenses, two luxury cars, 16 tickets for each home and away game, 18 seats in a suite for home games and use University Athletic Association aircraft for personal use valued at up to $ 70,000 per year.
The Gators will pay Napier’s $ 3 million buyout from Louisiana-Lafayette. His contract is 85% guaranteed, which means he would get that percentage of what’s left if Florida fires him for no reason. Napier, meanwhile, has a sliding buyout to leave Florida – the figure starts at $ 7 million before Dec.31, 2022, and each drops thereafter.
“The market is what the market is, unfortunately,” Stricklin said. “If Billy is as successful as I think he is, we’ll never have to discuss buyouts. But, obviously, these things are there for a reason. “
Napier is 40-12 in four seasons at Lafayette, including 33-5 in the past three years. His time there culminated with a Sun Belt Championship.
He called Florida’s offer “the right place at the right time, with the right people and the right leadership.”
It could end up being a lot of people too. But the Gators are set to open an $ 85 million football center that will be able to accommodate a much larger workforce.
“We may have to build barracks, right?” Stricklin joked. “He’s got the right vision. He’s the right person. I like the character he shows, the humility he shows, but he also has a plan. He’s very thoughtful. He knows what he’s doing. do the. “
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