Bittersweet response from Cajuns athletics director to news of Napier’s departure

Sports

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — University of Louisiana-Lafayette Football Headcoach Billy Napier is headed to the University of Florida. The news was announced Sunday spurring bittersweet reactions from UL fans, students, staff, and alumni.

ULL’s Athletics Director Bryan Maggard released a statement in a letter posted to UL’s Ragin Cajuns website that mirrors the same feeling.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the body of work Coach Napier has accomplished these past four years as the head coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns. The success we have experienced within our football program, under his leadership, has elevated the profile of our Athletics Department, the University of Louisiana, the city of Lafayette, and Acadiana.

Dr. Bryan Maggard via ragincajuns.com

Coach Napier will coach through the Sun Belt Conference Championship game on Dec. 4, and his status for the bowl game will be determined in the upcoming days, according to Maggard’s letter.

Maggard assured in the letter that UL’s coaching staff will “work diligently to prepare our team for Saturday’s contest against App State while also focusing on the academic success of our student-athletes and our recruiting efforts leading up to the December 15th early signing date.”

Meanwhile, the search for a new coach ensues. Maggard said he’s looking for someone that can mesh into the #cULture of Acadiana, UL, and most importantly the athletics department and football program.

We will be committed to finding a coach who exemplifies the values of the University of Louisiana, the Department of Athletics, and the Cajun culture, an individual who prioritizes the academic success of our student-athletes, builds positive relationships with those he coaches, is a relentless recruiter, establishes tremendous rapport with Louisiana high school coaches, places a strong focus on player development, and is a proven winner.

Dr. Bryan Maggard via ragincajuns.com

Maggard closed his letter by expressing his gratitude for the support shown to UL and its student-athletes, and he said the best days lie ahead.

Visit ragincajuns.com to read the full letter.

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