Sports

Tim Tebow fired up about Billy Napier with UF


There aren’t many names that carry more weight around these parts than Tim Tebow’s. The former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national championship-winning quarterback for the Gators is a legend in Gainesville, and when he has positive things to say about the man in charge, that can only be a good sign.

In an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show, Tebow discussed what Billy Napier brings to the table and what he’s seen from the coach so far.

“I’ve had the chance to get to know Napier over the last couple of years,” Tebow told Finebaum, per On3’s Nick de la Torre. “I think he’s a coach that really loves young men. He really loves developing. He loves building culture. I think he’s really excited about this opportunity, and he should be. Florida is a great place. A new facility I think is going to help.”

Napier has spent his entire coaching career preparing for a high profile SEC job like Florida. In his previous stop at Louisiana, he built the largest staff in the Sun Belt and signed the league’s top class three years in a row. But that doesn’t mean Napier’s time at UF will be without speed bumps.

Napier doesn’t have any ties to the school, and after essentially building the Ragin’ Cajuns program from the ground up, he now takes over a program with a breadth of history and sky-high expectations in Gainesville. Tebow said fans should be patient as he navigates this new environment.

“I do feel like there’s going to be some — I wouldn’t call it learning curves because I think he’ll be able to figure that out. But I think getting used to the culture of Florida and everything is going to be really important,” Tebow said. “I think he’s very high-character, he’s done a great job with Louisiana. I think he’s got the chance — but it’s also so different going from a school that is not necessarily a powerhouse to one where there is so much pressure on you.

“That’s when he’s going to need support, you need to have a great relationship with Mr. (Scott) Stricklin, and really understand everything that comes with the Florida job. Because just like any big job, it’s not just coaching. It’s not just X’s and O’s. There’s so many things that you need to do as a head coach.”

Napier certainly has his work cut out for him at a program where the last three coaching hires have failed. But Napier brings something different to the table than those previous coaches, and Florida fans hope they’ve finally found their guy.

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