Ragin' Cajuns coach Billy Napier responds to report about South Carolina job

Tim Buckley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

UL football coach Billy Napier responded Wednesday night to a report by The Athletic that South Carolina officials have talked with him and others about its vacancy.

“I think I’ve said my piece on that earlier, and I really want to focus on our team – the challenges in front of us,”  Napier, whose No. 24 Ragin' Cajuns (7-1, 5-1 Sun Belt) are scheduled to visit UL Monroe on Saturday (2 p.m., ESPN3), said Wednesday night.

“I would like to think it’s a huge positive, the fact that our program and our staff gets recognition every time a job opens up. I think it’s a good thing. But if we commented on everything that was out there we’d have to have a press conference every day.”

Napier did not confirm or deny the report.

Reiterating comments from earlier this week, Napier – a candidate for multiple SEC openings last season, most notably Mississippi State – did suggest the attention is a testament to the work those on his staff have been doing.

“It’s going to continue to be that way,” he said of reports linking him to various openings, “if we’re doing our job and playing a brand of football that’s respectable.”

Earlier this month, shortly after Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp was fired, Napier was mentioned in multiple reports as a candidate for the job.

Under the headline "Shane Beamer gaining momentum in South Carolina coaching search," The Athletic report Tuesday night also said "School officials already have met face-to-face with Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell and have in-person interviews scheduled with Oklahoma assistant coach Shane Beamer and Louisville coach Scott Satterfield."

UL recruiting:Ragin' Cajun football commits cope in era of COVID-19 and Zoom

Satterfield has denied the report, writing on Twitter that "While I am flattered my name was associated with another job, I have not pursued or sought out any offers."

ESPN reported Wednesday that Beamer, a former South Carolina assistant and the son of a former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, "has received mounting support from some prominent alumni."

Napier tested positive late last week for COVID-19 and said he plans to remains in quarantine until Friday.

But he plans to drive to Monroe, separate from his team, on Saturday to coach the Cajuns, whose non-conference game last Saturday against Central Arkansas was canceled due to a COVID outbreak inside the UL program. 

Silent night:Ragin' Cajuns football team loses band due to COVID-19 'uptick'

More:UL coach Billy Napier gives up bonus money, cell phone stipend in COVID-19 reduction