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Louisiana reportedly set to make Billy Napier Sun Belt's first $2 million coach

Fresh off leading the best season in school history, Napier has increased his lead as the highest-paid coach in Sun Belt history.

Billy Napier is already the Sun Belt's first $1 million coach, but Louisiana is reportedly set to blow past the next milestone, making the 41-year-old the league's first $2 million coach as well.

According to the Daily Advertiser, the University of Louisiana Board of Regents will vote Thursday to approve a new contract that would run through 2025 paying him $2 million per year -- a $400,000 base salary and $1.6 million from the Ragin' Cajun Athletic Foundation.

The new contract would also boost his assistant salary pool from from $2.87 million to $3.77 million. 

The $2 million salary not only more than doubles any other Sun Belt coach -- Arkansas State's Blake Anderson was the second highest in 2020 at $825,000 -- it outpaces any Conference USA coach and places him in the middle tier of American coaches. Tulane's Willie Fritz, for instance, made a reported $1.787 million in 2020. 

Louisiana will never keep Napier from a dream-job type offer, but a commitment such as this is more than enough to keep him in Lafayette until such an offer arrives. 

The contract comes after Napier was a person of interest in the South Carolina and Auburn searches, though it wouldn't require Napier to sign his future over to the school. The contract would place his buyout at $3 million should he leave before the end of the year and $2 million if he departs in 2022 or 2023. That figure would cut in half if Bryan Maggard is no longer ULL's AD.

The new contract comes a week after ULL secured $15 million in donations from the Our Lady of Lourdes hospital, which will rename the Cajuns' home venue to Cajun Field at Our Lady of Lourdes Stadium. 

In three seasons on the job, Napier has compiled a 28-11 record with two Sun Belt West championships and a Sun Belt co-championship in 2020 (the SBC title game vs. Coastal Carolina was canceled.)

The 2020 season was ULL's best in school history. The Cajuns opened the season with a 31-14 win at Big 12 runner-up and Fiesta Bowl champion Iowa State and ended the season 10-1 and ranked No. 15 in the AP poll, a school record. 

Louisiana will open 2021 ranked in the preseason AP poll for the first time ever, and Napier will do so with a new contract. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.