Report: Billy Napier turns down the Auburn job
The Auburn coaching search has reportedly taken yet another turn.
Only a few hours after defensive coordinator and interim coach Kevin Steele was no longer seen as a frontrunner to replace Gus Malzahn, a new name has emerged after Billy Napier of Louisiana appeared to be the odds-on favorite earlier Monday morning.
Shannon B. Terry, founder of 247Sports, reported that, “Sources tell us Billy Napier has turned down the Auburn job. Keep a close watch on Bill Clark — his interview went really well. Clark is incredibly well respected by his peers. A good possibility he is next in line.”
Clark has had a strong reputation for a few years, as the UAB coach in won the 2018 Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year by the Football Writers Association of America, among a slew of awards that season.
Clark is is a native of Anniston, Alabama, and graduated from Jacksonville State University in 1990. His head coaching record at UAB is 39-22 and he is 50-26 as a Division I head coach.
Clark has dealt with more program adversity than the average coach. The program was shut down after his first season in 2014, and he stayed as head coach through the program’s shutdown and two-year hiatus.
In 2015 and 2016, Clark reconstructed a team from scratch, and when UAB returned to FBS competition in 2017 after two years away, he guided the Blazers to an 8-5 overall record and the team’s first bowl appearance since 2004, according to his school bio.
This season UAB is set to play South Carolina in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Florida after the Blazers won Conference USA with a win over Marshall, 22-13 on Friday, to improve to 6-3 and win their 2nd league title in the past 3 years.