Marc Ryan

Billy Napier the Logical Choice to be Next Gamecocks Head Coach

Offsides with Marc Ryan
November 17, 2020 - 12:15 pm


There comes a time in every man's life when he realizes a "10" is not what he really wants or needs. The attention, the drama, the high maintenance tendencies, the jealousy. All that comes with it just isn't worth it. You reach a point where it's obvious the girl next door is actually your best chance. 

Such is the case for the South Carolina Gamecocks in their coaching search. Certainly, the 10's are out there. Bob Stoops, Urban Meyer, the return of the Ole Ball Coach. I'd also put Brent Venables in this category. And I don't begrudge South Carolina if they want to make those phone calls. But when you find out Scarlett Johannson is taken or otherwise unavailable, please return to the first paragraph of this blog. 

The logical choice to be the next Gamecocks head coach is coming into focus. It's not as sexy as the names above...yet. But I'd remind you that at one point, nobody had a name. At one point, Howard Stern was a country music DJ in no name USA. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Joe Burrow was regarded as the 14th best draft eligible quarterback; last year. 

The name Gamecocks fans should come to love, and a heck of a choice for the next coach is Billy Napier, current head coach of Louisiana. And a highly trusted source I spoke to said Napier would very likely accept if offered. 

Presently, Napier and Hugh Freeze are in a dead heat as the listed favorites for the position. As of this mornng, Las Vegas says Napier is +250, with Freeze at +300. 

If the choice is between those two, there really isn't a choice. Both win, but Freeze comes with all of the baggage of a "10," perhaps worse. As a Christian man, there are a lot of things I can forgive; but one that is very hard for me is when I feel someone has lied to me about their character. When someone exposes themselves as a fraud. At Ole Miss, Freeze was delivering five star recruits at a dizzying rate, so much so that people didn't think, they knew impopriety was involved. He'd post daily Bible verses on his personal social media pages, all the while using a company phone to solicit escorts. I'm all for forgiveness. I hope Hugh Freeze has rehabilitated himself. But I only have one opening here, and South Carolina can't screw this one up. Freeze can't and shouldn't be option #1.

As a Florida Gator grad, I casn tell you all about how two failed hires in a row sets you back as a program. Muschamp was first. McElwain second. The Gators are still recovering from the hit to program prestige. South Carolina has got to get this one right.


And that's why a great choice would be Billy Napier. High integrity. No character question marks. And most impressively, he's won now over three seasons at a place you wouldn't expect him to. His 18-5 conference mark is second only to Appalachian State since he began in the Sun Belt. 

Asked about the position yesterday, Napier didn't exactly decline interest: "You guys have been around me for a couple years now; you know I’m not gonna comment on those things,” Napier told KPEL 1420 AM’s Scott Prathe. “But I do think any time that a member of our team gets recognition or is well thought of out there … it’s a direct reflection of hundreds of people. I mean, we’ve got so many people that work hard in our organization and on our team, all the way down to the people that clean our building and the walk-ons on our team that never play.

“You know, we’ve got a lot of people that take tremendous pride in their role, and for us to be where we’re at and have success and recognized and be in those conversations, I think, if anything, it’s humbling. That's what I think about it."

Sometimes the girl next door is the best choice; the best fit. That person in the form of a football coach is Billy Napier for the Gamecocks. South Carolina would be wise to lock him up. 



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