As first reported by 24/7 Sports, Alabama has hired former Florida State wide receivers coach Billy Napier as the wide receivers coach for the Crimson Tide, per a UA release. Mike Groh left that position to take a job with the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Napier is returning to the Capstone after serving as an offense analyst for the 2011 national championship season. Napier left to follow former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain, serving as his assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.
Napier was previously hired away from Colorado State to be the tight ends coach and recruiting coach for Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles.
“We are glad to have Billy back on our staff,” Saban said. “He did an outstanding job when he was with us in 2011 and he was the first call we made when this position opened. He is a sharp young coach and he’ll be a great addition working with the wide receivers. We also feel that he will be a tremendous asset to our staff in the recruiting process.”
Under Napier’s direction, Colorado State’s offense ranked 17th nationally in red zone offense. From the first six games to the last six games, Colorado State cut its sacks per game down by four and its rushing yards per game increased by 65.
“I have a great appreciation for the University of Alabama and the program Coach Saban runs, especially after spending the 2011 season in Tuscaloosa,” Napier said. “From a professional development standpoint, it was the best year in my coaching career. When you’ve been here and seen it first-hand, you know that you want to try and get back to Alabama if that opportunity ever presents itself.
“I am excited to be back and appreciate Coach Saban offering me the position. We had a great experience a year ago and we have a lot of great friends here. It is a special place because of the history and tradition, but also because of the people you work with and the fans and supporters of the program.”
Earlier in his career, Napier was named the youngest offensive coordinator in school history when Clemson hired him for the position in 2009 at 29 years old. In Napier’s first season as the offensive coordinator, the Tigers won the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal Division and set a school record with 436 points.
Napier was also Clemson’s recruiting coordinator from 2006 to 2008, helping the Tigers reel in the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation in 2008 according to ESPN.com.