Billy Napier shares how Nick Saban impacted his coaching style
Billy Napier was Alabama’s WR coach under Nick Saban from 2013 to 2016 before leaving to take over as Arizona State’s OC in 2017 and ultimately, as Louisiana’s head coach from 2018 to 2021.
Now, he embarks on his first season as Florida’s head coach, he still remembers the lessons he learned from Saban.
“My time at Alabama really opened my eyes up to what that looks like,” Napier said. “I think Nick was a little bit ahead of the curve there relative to running it like an NFL team. We had our own personnel department, your own campus recruiting group, you’ve got specific areas within each organization. I think that the arms race relative to facilities is well documented but I think also there’s an arms race relative to the number of people that actually contribute to your team that you have behind the scenes.
“So we’ve put together an absolute all-star team here at Florida, very thankful that the administration here gave us the resources to do that, it takes what it takes and there’s no question that in today’s college football dynamic it’s extremely competitive, you’re managing a lot of players and you’re evaluating and recruiting a lot of players at the same time.”
It’s not easy to replicate the success Saban has had at Alabama, obviously. But, if Napier can start to turn Florida around in 2022, he’ll quickly become a popular guy in Gainesville. He has hired several important staff members to help him build a program like Alabama’s.