Why Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns coach Billy Napier turns down SEC jobs, stays in Lafayette.

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Author: Tim Buckley
Date: Feb. 28, 2021
From: UWIRE Text
Publisher: ULOOP Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,312 words
Lexile Measure: 1110L

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Byline: Tim Buckley

Billy Napier has had ample opportunity to leave the Ragin' Cajuns for the SEC.

Mississippi State after the 2019 season. South Carolina and Auburn after last season. Yet the Cajuns football coach has eschewed life-altering contract offers and remains in Louisiana, baffling some.

"You know," Napier told The Daily Advertiser, "there's a lot more to life than just making a lot of money and being in the limelight, certainly, for me."

Currently earning about $1 million per season, Napier could triple -- or even quadruple -- his salary at a Power Five program.

"He looks at so much more than just the financials," said UL athletic director Bryan Maggard, who hired Napier late in 2018. "I know one thing that's critically important for him is alignment -- alignment between the president and athletics director and himself."

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Napier, 41, feels he has it with Maggard and Joseph Savoie, UL's president since 2008.

"That alignment comes in terms of vision for a football program," Maggard said. "That's really (a) key for him that probably a lot of people don't think about. I also know, though, that he feels there's more to accomplish here."

UL finished 10-1 last season and No. 16 in the Amway Coaches Poll. The Cajuns aspire to be not just next season's top Group of Five program but also a perennial contender.

He may not be waiting for the perfect job, or a dream job, but so far nothing has been well aligned enough to extract Napier.

"I don't think he looks at it like 'that particular school,' or 'that one' or 'the ones I'm waiting on,' " Maggard said. "He has a bunch of different boxes he would want to be able to check off before he would consider leaving here.

"I think it's been shown and proven that very high-caliber programs have been, and are, willing to hire Billy...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A653372627