Former Alabama football assistant Billy Napier, now Florida's coach, makes appearance at basketball matchup

Trisha Easto
The Tuscaloosa News

"We are going to need the same energy next fall in the Swamp," said Billy Napier, the head football coach for the Florida Gators, as he spoke to the crowd at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center on Wednesday night.

The Gators were hosting Alabama men's basketball when Napier stepped onto the court to a roaring crowd for his halftime speech.

Florida was up at halftime, 39-36 over Alabama.

Despite the hype felt by the rambunctious crowd during Napier's speech, Florida lost after a dominant second half by the Alabama men's basketball team.

Jan 5, 2022; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators football head coach Billy Napier addresses the crowd during halftime between the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide at Billy Donovan Court at Exactech Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Napier was an offensive analyst for Alabama football in 2011 and then a wide receiver coach for the Tide from 2013 to 2016. 

“It’s not about me. It’s about our football team. … We are going to build men of character and integrity,” Napier said during his speech.

During the several years Napier was with the Alabama football program and Nick Saban, he earned two national championship rings. 

He would go on to be the head coach for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns before accepting the job at Florida. That decision was announced in late November 2021.

STRONG SECOND HALF:Alabama basketball powers past Florida in second half for 83-70 road win

SEC LOOKAHEAD:Alabama basketball is tested going into SEC play, but needs to improve on defense

Up Next:

Alabama men's basketball heads to Missouri next to face the Tigers on Saturday, January 8 at 2:30 PM C.T.

Trisha Easto is a digital producer in the USA Today network. You can find her on Twitter @trishaanicole