Since he got to Gainesville, new Florida Gators coach Billy Napier has been a fan favorite. His modest demeanor and clear desire to bring UF back to the top is refreshing, and he has shown that he’s committed to helping his student athletes in more ways than just on the field.
While previous coaches have brought promise to campus, it seems that the excitement and buzz around Napier is much more real, and that the program is taking a turn for the better with Billy at the helm.
One reason that fans already have such a great feeling about Napier is because he’s one of the most genuine coaches that UF has ever had. When he was speaking at SEC Media Day, as well as throughout his press conferences this offseason, fans and reporters will never hear him brag.
His humble approach, but clear confidence in his methods makes it known that UF is in great hands under his leadership.
His relationship with his father is also special. It seems that whenever he’s asked a question about his dad, Billy fights back tears as he talks about him. During his conference at SEC Media Days, the first thing he said in response to a question about his father was “You’re trying to get me here today.”
Personality aside, Napier also seems to be a great fit within the university itself. He has great trust in the administration, and it seems that the trust goes both ways.
“I’ve been very impressed with the leadership at the University of Florida. Our president, Dr. Kent Fuchs, on the university and foundation side, and on the UAA side, Scott Stricklin is our athletic director. It’s been fun to see their vision, on the inside to see their execution.”
“We’re thankful for their belief in our plan. We’re very appreciative of the resources they provided as we begin to take on this great challenge.”
Maybe the best part of Napier’s philosophy is that the job is never finished, no matter how good the team may be or how much success they’re having.
Complacency seemed to be the kryptonite of the prior coaching staff. With this staff’s determination to always improve, as well as the great relationship they’ve formed with the players in a short time, the program is headed in the right direction.
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