Florida Gators, coach Billy Napier agree to seven-year, $52 million contract

By Adam Silverstein
December 4, 2021
Florida Gators, coach Billy Napier agree to seven-year, $52 million contract
Football

Image Credit: Louisiana Athletics

When the Florida Gators introduce head coach Billy Napier on Sunday, he will become one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. Napier has agreed to a seven-year, $51.8 million contract with Florida, according to the Associated Press. The contract details of the Gators’ new head coach have not yet been released publicly.

At $7.4 million per season over the life of his deal, Napier will earn slightly less than former head coach Dan Mullen ($7.6 million) brought in annually. Ranked among salaries from the 2021 season, he would be the eighth-highest paid coach in college football, though there have been numerous extensions and raises this offseason that will likely push Napier’s deal downward comparatively ahead of the 2022 campaign.

Napier is set to earn $7.1 million for the 2022 college football season with an annual $100,000 raise increasing his contract over the remaining six years. It is a significant raise for the former Louisiana coach, who earned $2 million annually to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns. Florida will be paying Louisiana a $3 million buyout for Napier’s services.

Napier on Saturday led Louisiana to victory in the 2021 Sun Belt Championship Game, clinching the first league title in program history for the Cajuns. He improved to 40-12 all-time at Louisiana with a 22-2 record over the last two seasons.

Napier, 42, will be formally introduced at Florida on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

His hiring was considered a coup for the Gators and athletic director Scott Stricklin, who not only landed his top target but inked a coach who has been one of the hottest names bandied about over the last couple of cycles. Napier had reportedly turned down a half-dozen Power Five opportunities — a number of them in the SEC — for various reasons, though the UF gig is the best he’s known to have been offered.

One of the shortest coaching searches in program history lasted just seven days after Florida fired Mullen on Nov. 21. Mullen spent nearly four full seasons with the Gators, going 34-15 (21-13 SEC) with a 13-10 (10-8 SEC) record over his last two seasons and three New Year’s Six bowl appearances.

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