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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Napier sheds light on battalion of new hires in Friday press conference

Florida football’s head coach, Billy Napier, shared what he is excited about when it comes to three of his new hires for the 2022 season.

<p>Florida Football Coach Billy Napier arrives with his family at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for his first day on the job on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Napier has hired more than 37 staffers in just over a month as Florida head coach.</p><p></p>

Florida Football Coach Billy Napier arrives with his family at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for his first day on the job on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021. Napier has hired more than 37 staffers in just over a month as Florida head coach.

Florida football’s new head coach, Billy Napier, spoke in a press conference Friday with an emphasis on reimagining existing team processes. 

Napier has hounded the coaching carousel over the last few weeks to execute this new vision for his team, bringing in more than 37 new hires ranging from an offensive coordinator to the nebulous “director of college personnel.”  

Among those mentioned in the conference were two recent female hires: Katie Turner and Bri Wade. 

After two seasons at Georgia, Turner was selected for the position of assistant athletic director of recruitment strategy. Wade, who worked under Napier at Louisiana in the past, is the new director of on-campus recruiting and football events. 

“They help us organize the experience that these players have when they are on our campus,” Napier said of Turner and Wade. “For them, no detail is too small so I think that with their experience, they are going to do a great job.”

Napier talked about how the roles of Turner and Wade involve more of a “hospitality component” where they will be “selling and presenting our product” to recruits to encourage them to sign with Florida.

Another hire discussed in the conference was former LSU defensive back and cornerback coach, Corey Raymond. 

The decision to have Raymond mentor the cornerbacks at Florida in 2022 came after Napier studied his coaching tactics when competing against Raymond in the past. 

“I have always been very impressed with him from a teaching perspective,” Napier said. “I used to watch him in pregame- his drill progression, the detail, the technique that his players played with.” 

With a history of multiple NFL draft picks, Raymond’s track record was one of the biggest appeals when being evaluated for Napier’s staff. 

“This is one of those hires where you’re hiring a true expert in his area and he’s already made an impact on our team and recruiting,” Napier said. 

When it comes to staff hires, Napier expects that with those that are left to hire, there will be a larger number than the group that has already been selected by him. 

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The head coach believes there is more work to do in the future when it comes to hiring in more specific categories such as the transfer portal and NIL (Name, Image and Likeness). Focusing on this, he is working with his team to be “patient and thorough.” 

Overall, one of the team’s largest concerns is building connections among the new members of the staff, and the existing and future players. This remains a priority in hiring new people. 

“We want to build more relationships,” Napier said. “There are more people that can have a positive impact on the players. I think that is a big part of what we believe in.” 

Contact Lillian Randolph at lillianrandolph@ufl.edu. Follow her on Twitter @lillyrrandolph.



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