Through all the success the University of Louisiana Lafayette has been having over the last few seasons, it is not surprising Head Coach Billy Napier has been receiving national recognition.
Napier has been pursued by schools such as Mississippi State, South Carolina and even Auburn over his time here at Louisiana, but is committed to the culture here in Lafayette.
“We are very excited about the future of Ragin’ Cajuns Football under Coach Napier’s leadership,” Athletic Director Bryan Maggard said in a school press release on Twitter. “We will continue to invest in the program to ensure we maintain and grow our successes. We believe a successful football program elevates the profile of the entire university, and we know there is much more to accomplish.”
Napier, a former offensive coordinator for Power Five schools Clemson and Arizona State, ultimately decided that he is focusing on building a new norm here at Louisiana. That new norm is simply winning.
In the last two seasons, eleven teams have won 20 or more games, with Louisiana being one of the eleven. The Ragin Cajuns are in elite company being Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State are a few of the teams rounding out that list.
Napier has been the head coach in Lafayette for three seasons, building the Ragin' Cajuns into a Sun Belt powerhouse during his tenure. Louisiana finished 11-3 and 7-1 in conference play in 2019, winning the West division title and ultimately beating Miami (OH) in the LendingTree Bowl.
Following Louisiana’s best season to date, Napier one-upped 2019 with an even more dominant 2020 season. Led by elite quarterback Levi Lewis, the Cajuns finished the season ranked 19th in the final College Football Playoff poll. The 9-1 Cajuns outdid Big 12 Iowa State in Week 1 of the season and ultimately repeated as Sun Belt West champion with its only loss of the season coming against undefeated Coastal Carolina on Oct. 14. The Sun Belt Championship Game, which was scheduled to be a rematch with the Chanticleers, was canceled due to COVID-19 issues at Coastal Carolina.
Napier has resurrected a Sun Belt team that was simply mediocre into a dominant squad with national recognition. This success is simply a result of the incredible work that Napier and his entire coaching staff repeatedly put in.
From the recruiting trail to hours spent game planning each week, Napier’s success is a direct reflection of the work he puts in to be great.