Soon enough, we may be able to add former Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier to the growing list of Nick Saban assistants who have blossomed into FBS coaches.
According to a report from Chris Karpman of 247 Sports’ Sun Devil Source, the Arizona State offensive coordinator has been offered the coaching job at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Napier, who spent five seasons as the Crimson Tide’s wide receivers coach (2013-17), left the Alabama program in January to join Todd Graham’s Sun Devils as the team’s offensive coordinator. He was considered by some to be a candidate to replace Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian in the role at Alabama following the 2016 season, but the Tide went with Brian Daboll in that role.
Graham was fired by Arizona State in November, and the program has since hired former NFL coach Herm Edwards to take his place. Napier has stayed on staff through the transition and was promoted to “associate head coach” by Edwards last week, per AZCentral.com’s Jeff Metcalfe. The move reportedly offered Napier a raise of $50,000 from his $550,000 base.
Louisiana-Lafayette is in search of a replacement for Mark Hudspeth, who was fired by the school after five seasons. He had a 28-38 record as the Ragin’ Cajuns coach, and has since been hired as the tight ends coach at Mississippi State under new coach Joe Moorhead.
Napier has been reported as a candidate in the Ragin’ Cajuns opening along with Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsay and Penn State assistant Brent Pry.
Napier played at Furman from 1999-2002 and began his coaching career at Clemson as a graduate assistant in 2003. He does not have a direct tie to Louisiana-Lafayette, but the overwhelming majority of his work prior to the 2017 season was completed in the Southeast region of the country.
Louisiana-Lafayette is slated to play Alabama on Sept. 29 next season, which could create an interesting reunion for Napier and Saban.