NOTICE: The views expressed in The Vermilion’s opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Vermilion staff or of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Head Football Coach Billy Napier changed the identity of the Ragin’ Cajuns for the better in his first three seasons. 

Napier has been head coach of the Cajuns for three seasons and has never had a losing win-loss record. 

This is the first time in Napier’s coaching career that he has been a head coach. Napier coached at big names schools such as the University of Alabama and Clemson University, having the role of wide receiver coach and offensive coordinator respectively. 

Napier is proving that he is a very good head coach by not only improving his team year after year, but by producing players who are talented enough to be selected in the NFL Draft. 

In Napier’s time as head coach, six of his players were drafted to NFL teams. Tracy Walker, Simeon Thomas, Robert Hunt, Kevin Dotson, Raymond Calias and Elijah Mitchell. 

All six players have homes on NFL rosters as of now. Obviously you have to be a talented athlete to play division one football, but a coach’s job is to make players better. 

To have six players from what is considered to be a small school in the football world get drafted in the NFL and stay there speaks volumes about the program. The way a football program gets on the right track like that is from good coaching and Napier is proving to be a great one. 

As I mentioned earlier each year Napier has improved his team’s performance. During his first season as head coach, the Cajuns won seven games but lost seven games. 

The following year the Cajuns won 11 games and lost three games. Then the most recent season was a shortened one due to COVID-19 restrictions, so the Cajuns played 11 games and only lost one game. 

Napier has been a huge part of the Cajuns’ success. The players believe in Napier as a coach and it shows on the field and by the previously mentioned statistics. 

According to in the column labeled “previous,” the Cajuns were able to reach as high as the 15th spot in the AP national college football rankings last season. This was only one spot behind newfound rival Coastal Carolina, who gave us our only loss last season, but that’s a different can of worms to open for later. 

The Cajuns have never been ranked that high in school history, so they come into the season wanting to prove they are still that good, if not better. The Cajuns and Napier have their work cut out for them if they want to get as high as 15th in the nation. I believe Napier will have his team ready for the challenge. 

The Cajuns will open this season ranked 23rd according to the AP national college football rankings on Cajuns’ week one matchup is against the Texas Longhorns so it will be a good test for the team and Coach Napier to see if this team is improving even more. 

Story: Evan Hale