It’s probably too early to start suggesting that Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier isn’t going to last in Gainesville, but sometimes you just have a feeling.
And when it comes to college football coaches, that feeling usually isn’t wrong.
Napier is 4-4 through his first eight games at Florida. That’s not a bad start, but it’s not what Gators fans expect, either.
Remember, Napier’s predecessor, Dan Mullen, won 21 games over his first two seasons. And he was fired after a 5-6 season in 2021 (he was fired with one game remaining in the regular season). There isn’t a lot of patience in Gainesville.
If Napier doesn’t quickly get results — which he isn’t getting so far — he’ll be out the door.
The signs are there that Billy Napier won’t last at Florida
The biggest way you can tell that a coach is not long for a program is when the media turns on a coach. You can say that interactions between a coach and media members don’t matter, but those are the folks that are around and see the coach for who he really is. And when they change their tone toward a coach, it usually means that a change is on the horizon.
That’s why the soundbite that we heard on Monday, when a media member was heard saying “I’ll be here longer than Billy Napier, I can guarantee that”, is a likely indicator that Napier won’t be at Florida long-term.
Sounds like AP Reporter Mark Long was caught on a hot mic at the Florida presser today saying: “I don’t give a fuck, I’ll be here longer than Billy Napier. I can guarantee that.”— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) October 31, 2022
Florida fans will ridicule that reporter and suggest he’s trying to create drama — even though it was a hot mic moment and not something on the record.
But they need to understand that what that reporter said is likely how a lot of folks in the room with Napier on a regular basis are feeling.
And if the folks who are seeing Napier regularly feel that way, why should fans who aren’t around the program on a daily basis feel any differently?
Florida fans shouldn’t get too attached to Napier. He’ll be back in the Sun Belt before Oklahoma and Texas become official members of the SEC in 2025.
Featured image via Matt Pendleton / USA TODAY NETWORK