Billy Napier’s been deftly putting together his first-ever staff as Florida Gators head coach.
Napier’s brought with him a couple key members from his record-setting run atop the Louisiana program in defensive assistant Patrick Toney and offensive assistant Jabbar Juluke.
He’s also snared Corey Raymond away from LSU, where Raymond had become something of the defensive back whisperer for Raymond’s work in producing double-digit NFL Draft picks from the Tigers’ secondary.
Now, Napier’s poised to make another huge move on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball – and pulling well-regarded coaches from the NFL back to the collegiate ranks in the process.
He’s poised to add Rob Sale into an elevated offensive assistant role, numerous sources told FootballScoop; Sale is expected to have heavy input into the Gators’ offensive schemes.
Additionally, per multiple sources, Napier is poised to bring Karl Scott – a former Alabama Crimson Tide assistant who has spent this season on staff with the Minnesota Vikings – into a co-defensive coordinator role that also will entail Scott overseeing the Gators’ outside linebackers.
The Athletic also has reported that Napier has targeted Sale and Scott, among others, to round out his staff.
Sources with intimate knowledge of the process have told FootballScoop that both Sale and Scott are in line for seven-figure salaries that are expected to start at around $1 million per season.
Additionally, the Gators and Napier have been in discussions with another NFL assistant coach with deep college ties – Chris Rumph. It’s unclear if Rumph, a veteran defensive assistant, is going to elect to stay in the NFL or rejoin the collegiate coaching ranks.
Per sources, Napier also has targeted Josh Thompson – who has experience at multiple Southeastern Conference programs – for an elevated role in Napier’s off-the-field staff, along the lines of a director of football operations type of position. Thompson currently serves as director of football operations for Auburn.
Sale is completing his first season as offensive line coach of the New York Giants, who are out of the playoff race and wrap up their season Jan. 9, 2022, at home against rival Washington Football Team.
With deep ties in the South and a pedigree of playing for Nick Saban at LSU and working several years with and for Napier, Sale is highly regarded for his football acumen and also diverse experience despite being just 42 years old. Sale spent a year as Mark Richt’s offensive line coach at the University of Georgia in 2015, and started his foray into coaching in the high school ranks in his native Louisiana, where he also coached collegiately at McNeese State and Louisiana-Monroe.
Sale’s considered an elite offensive line tactician, but he’s also been a running game coordinator in the pass and been on a track to become an offensive coordinator.
So far, Napier has announced the additions of Juluke, Raymond, Toney and offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton to his inaugural Gators’ staff.
Expect Napier's staff to be finalized following the NFL season.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.