Report: UL’s Billy Napier Interviewed With South Carolina
A report was published on Saturday that stated that Louisiana Ragin' Cajun head football coach Billy Napier would interview with South Carolina about its head coaching vacancy.
On Friday night, chatter started making the rounds that Napier would meet with South Carolina for a Saturday interview.
On Saturday morning, Mike Gillespie of ABC Columbia confirmed a Saturday meeting between Napier and South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner.
UPDATE with report from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger.
Last month Josh Kendall of The Athletic (subscription required to read the entire article) reported that Napier had spoken to South Carolina school officials by phone about the opening.
Kendal says in that article that Napier, along with Army head coach Jeff Monken and Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze had all spoken to South Carolina officials by phone, while Coastal Carolina head coach Jamey Chadwell had already met with school officials in person.
Earlier in November, FootballScoop listed Napier as one of five early candidates for the position, which became vacant following the dismissal of former South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, one day after the Gamecocks fell to the Ole Miss Rebels, 59-42, back on November 14, which dropped them to 2-5 at the time.
Napier has done a fabulous job as head coach at Louisiana for the last three seasons, guiding the program to an overall record of 27-11, including an 11-3 record last year, setting a single-season school record for wins, as well as a 9-1 mark and a current top 25 ranking (#20 in AP Poll) this year.
The Cajuns ran their current win streak to five games with a 24-21 victory over Appalachian St. on Friday night in their regular-season finale.
Louisiana returns to action on Saturday, December 19 when they travel to Conway, South Carolina to face the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the Sun Belt Conference Football Championship, marking the third consecutive year they will appear in the title game.
Kickoff time is set for 11 am.
As for the interest in Napier by South Carolina; we told you last month that it is to be expected.
As long as the Cajuns continue to have success, Napier's name is going to be mentioned in coaching searches. It happened last year with the Mississippi St. opening and is likely to continue.
Again, the only surprise would be if South Carolina weren't interested in Napier.