Billy Napier was Alabama’s WR coach under Nick Saban from 2013 to 2016 before taking over as Arizona State’s OC in 2017 and eventually, as Louisiana’s head coach. 2018 to 2021.
Now entering his first season as Florida head coach, he still remembers the lessons he learned from Saban.
In the latest episode of “The College Football Daily” podcast, Napier said he learned how to run things like an NFL organization during his time in Tuscaloosa (via 247Sports):
“My time in Alabama really opened my eyes to what it’s like,” Napier said. “I think Nick was a little ahead of the curve when it came to managing like an NFL team. We had our own personnel department, your own recruiting group on campus, you have specific areas within each organization. I think the arms race over facilities is well documented, but I also think there’s an arms race over how many people who actually contribute to your team that you have behind the scenes.
“So we’ve put together an absolute all-star team here in Florida, very grateful that the administration here has given us the resources to do that, it takes what it takes and there’s no doubt that in the current dynamic of the college football is extremely competitive, you manage a lot of players and you evaluate and sign a lot of players at the same time.
It’s obviously not easy to replicate the success Saban had in Alabama. But, if Napier can start transforming Florida in 2022, he’ll quickly become a popular guy in Gainesville. He hired several key staff members to help him build a program like Alabama’s.