June 14, 2024

Billy Napier’s Job Status: What You Need to Know

The recent lawsuit from former Florida Gators signee Jaden Rashada against head coach Billy Napier has put the spotlight back on Gainesville and particularly on the coach. Here is the current status of Billy Napier and what we might expect moving forward.

Napier’s Track Record

In two seasons as head coach for the Florida Gators football team, Billy Napier has an underwhelming record of 11-14. His second season saw a regression to 5-7 after a 6-7 first season that included a bowl game appearance. This lack of improvement has many concerned.

The Gators also struggled visibly last season, particularly during their season opener against the Utah Utes, where issues such as jersey number confusion and clear disconnects among the coaching staff and players were evident. These problems ultimately reflect on the head coach.

Recent Developments

Heading into Napier’s third season, there were expectations for improvement. However, the spotlight intensified after former Gators signee Jaden Rashada filed a lawsuit against Napier, alleging a failed $13.85 million NIL deal promised to him in 2022. Now, Rashada is a rival Georgia Bulldog, and the lawsuit has brought Napier’s job security into question.

Current Job Status

As of now, Napier remains the head coach in Gainesville. However, if the lawsuit’s allegations that Napier lied about the NIL deal hold up in court, it could provide cause for the Gators’ Athletic Director, Scott Stricklin, to terminate Napier. A “for cause” firing would mean the Gators wouldn’t owe Napier any money on his buyout.

Napier’s Buyout

According to 247 Sports, Napier’s buyout would be around $25.5 million after the 2024 season if he were fired solely for poor performance. Terminating him with cause would save the Gators a significant amount of money, which could then be used to hire a better fit for the program. For now, however, Napier continues as head coach.

Billy Napier Bio Information and History

Recruiting Under Napier

Despite a noticeable slide in the 2024 recruiting class on national signing day, the Gators still secured the 10th best recruiting class in the nation, according to On3, including two five-star commits. However, this ranking places them only seventh in the SEC.

The most notable signee is five-star quarterback DJ Lagway, who honored his commitment despite a series of last-minute de-commits. Lagway impressed in spring practice, and there is potential for a strong quarterback duo with returning starter Graham Mertz.

What’s Next?

It is expected that Florida Athletic Director Scott Stricklin will issue a statement regarding Napier and the status of the Florida Gators football program within the next week or so. Until then, it’s a waiting game to see what unfolds next. Stay tuned.

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