Site Lists UL’s Billy Napier as a Candidate for Auburn Job
Is Louisiana Ragin' Cajun head football coach Billy Napier going to be a candidate for the head coaching position at Auburn?
One highly respected football website seems to he is/will be.
FootballScoop lists Napier as one of five early candidates for the position, along with Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze, UCF head coach Josh Heupel, and Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal.
The site says that Napier "should be a factor" in the coaching search at Auburn.
The Auburn job became open on Sunday when the program dismissed Gus Malzahn, who compiled an overall record of 68-35 over eight years (2013-2020) at the school.
As we told you last year, when the Mississippi St. became open, and this year, when the South Carolina job opened up, having Napier being listed as a candidate should come as no surprise.
First, Napier has done a fabulous job as head coach at Louisiana for the last three seasons, guiding the program to an overall record of 27-11, including an 11-3 record last year, setting a single-season school record for wins, as well as a 9-1 mark and a current top 25 ranking (#17 in AP Poll) this year.
Second, Napier has served as an assistant coach at such Power Five schools as Alabama (2011, 2013-2016), Arizona St. (2017), and Clemson (2006-2010).
In other words, he has a great resume and is one of the top young head coaches in the entire country. Many schools would have a serious interest in Napier, such as was the case last year, when many said Mississippi St. had a serious interest in him.
Finally, Napier has SEC ties, serving on the Alabama staff for four years (2013-2016).
The only surprise would be if Auburn doesn't seriously consider Napier.
As long as the Cajuns continue to have success, Napier's name is going to be mentioned in coaching searches. Again, it happened last year with the Mississippi St. opening and already happened this year with the South Carolina position.
Napier obviously likes it at UL, otherwise, he would have gone someplace else after last season. So, just because another school is interested doesn't necessarily mean he's going to leave.
We've all seen what has happened in coaching searches over the years too. Most of the time, the name of the coach that winds up eventually getting the job wasn't even listed among the early candidates.
And while FootballScoop is a highly-respected site that does a great job, this is only speculation, just mere hours after a change was made. Time will tell.
In the meantime, take Napier's name being mentioned for coaching openings as something to be expected, and as a compliment, if you're a fan of the Cajun program.