Billy Napier, University Of Florida, University Of Louisiana discussed on The Paul Finebaum Show


Guest. She is Billy Napier. He's been with us before, but never as the head coach of the university of Florida, coach. If you're thank you for your time. I know it's been a crazy couple of weeks since story broke of how are you? And what's going on down there? Paul, I'm doing a great man and I just checked one of the things off my bucket list. So I was just hoping you'd call me when I was at the university of Louisiana, but you never did. So I got that logo on my shirt now. And I'm certainly humbled that you've given us this opportunity. Now, coach, I hate to start off correcting the head coach of the university of Florida. But we did talk to you there once or twice. But we talked to you about a year and a half a year ago, right before the season. And we talked a little bit about your day as Clemson and Alabama and you must have just forgotten because you do so many interviews. Well, you're probably right, Paul. Certainly done my fair share here lately too. Well, whether one thing I hope, but whether you have been on this program, I hope this is the first of many as the gator coach because we are really eager and I just heard from one of my friends, who's covered the Gators for many, many years before you were even born, and he told me how excited everybody is down there. So tell us, going back to the moment you got this call, what has it been like not only dealing with the excitement of taking the job you had to coach in a championship game, which you won, and now you're off recruiting. How have you been able to process all of this in the last couple of weeks? Well, it's humbling, first of all, you know, I think it was a challenge. To coach in the championship game and certainly felt obligated, right? I think there's a certain sense of loyalty there to those players that administration and certainly the staff there to finish the job. You know, I think that's been the big thing here the last few years is I did not feel like the job was complete. And I'm so thankful for that group of players. The leadership that we had on the team and certainly the staff, their ability to focus, avoid the distractions and to finish that game. And when the conference championship, I think it was the first time in 53 years and certainly a direct reflection of that administration and the commitment to their vision. And a lot of fun, man. I thought we impacted a lot of people while we were there. And certainly ready for the next challenge. Coach, I know you're focused on Florida now, but I have found it interesting over these years to see your name connected to many jobs and density you stay where you did, which would lead all of us to conclude that you are waiting for something that you were being patient, which is hard to do when you're an ascending coach. How did you turn down other opportunities and what went into your thought process? Well, a lot of prayer goes into these decisions. I think it's important to realize that these decisions don't just affect me and my family, but they affect hundreds of people. Certainly affected the current team, affect the future team. They affect the staff and their families. So really diligent about having conversations with people that I trust some of my mentors and the profession and certainly a lot of prayer. But you know, I think that I had a really good job. I worked for a great administration, doctor Savoy, doctor Maggie, were outstanding. Really enjoyed the community there and laugh yet, and acadiana, the people there, the culture there. And I felt like there were so many individual stories in those locker rooms. I think the job wasn't complete. Not with the people and the job wasn't complete on the field. So we worked hard there. We were chasing down Appalachian state there and certainly to kind of culminate that four years of work with the 12th win. 12 in a row was a special moment there to host the conference championship game. And I'm really a special moment for that group of people that had worked so hard. Talking to coach Billy Napier, the new coach of the Florida Gators coach since you were introduced earlier in the week. I'm guessing there have been a number of things you've had to try to deal with. Hiring a staff. I'm sure his first and recruiting is equal to that. Let's talk about your staff and how it's coming along. I know there's been some big announcements and there's a lot out there in the rumor mill. What can you tell us? Well, I think it's the most important thing that we do. I think we've got to find people with integrity and character that have a sincere authentic care for the players. Certainly want to level of expertise in a competence and the job that we're asking them to do. And then within this recruiting footprint, I think it's going to all work. So it's a big puzzle. It's the most challenging part of the job and certainly the most important. I think the people that we add to the team starting with the staff and then certainly the players will have a lot to do with our success here. So we're going to be very patient. We're going to be diligent in our process. We've added some outstanding people so far. Certainly some more to come. And we look forward to announcing those as they come in. Let's talk about recruiting because it has been a topic at the university of Florida while you were winning championships in Louisiana. What is your what is your approach and philosophy about recruiting? Well, I think the first thing you do is you start with the evaluation process, right? I think you've got to have a very efficient system. And you certainly have to be on the same page. I'm very much involved in evaluation process. Watch each player. You know, we have a very specific step by step approach with the personnel department, the position coach to coordinator and certainly the area code. So, you know, I think the key here is that we get our feet on the ground. We've refined this process over the last four years. We're going to hire competent people in that area. We're having an entire personnel department, much like the National Football League. Once you decide who you think is good enough to play for the Gators, then it's about recruitment..

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