Louisiana Football Officially Announces Additions to Coach Napier’s Staff
Louisiana Ragin' Cajun football begins spring practice today, with six new faces on the coaching staff.
Staff additions were previously reported, and today were made official, along with a few returning staff members settling into new elevated roles.
Offensive coaches Michael Desormeaux (tight ends) and Tim Leger (wide receivers) will also serve as co-offensive coordinators, filling the role left open by the departure of former OC Rob Sale, who joined the New York Giants coaching staff last month.
Head coach Billy Napier will continue to serve as the play-caller.
"What Rob (Sale) did for us as the offensive coordinator is he kept the offensive staff organized. Not only the assistants and their roles but also the graduate assistants, the quality control assistants, the student assistants, the volunteers," explained Napier. "From a leadership standpoint, that's where Tim (Leger) and Mike (Desormeaux) will handle that.....They've got a good grasp, not only of our system but our expectations and year-round responsibilities for the team and staff."
Patrick Toney remains Defensive Coordinator for the second consecutive season, and will now serve as outside linebackers coach, after working as safeties coach the previous three seasons.
"He's one of the best," said senior defensive tackle Zi'Yon Hill of Toney. "He's very intelligent, and always asks for our input on things."
Other returning staff members include associate head coach Mark Hocke (strength and condition coach) assistant head coaches Jabbar Juluke (Running Backs) and Rory Segrest (Defensive Line), who all remain in the same role as previous seasons.
New staff members include Jeff Burris (Cornerbacks), Jeff Norrid (Offensive Line), Galen Scott (Inside Linebackers), Darnell Stapleton (Assistant Offensive Line) and Wes Neighbors (Safeties).
The 48-year old Burris served as cornerbacks coach at Louisiana Tech for the previous three seasons (2018-2020).
A native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, Burris played his college football at Notre Dame where he was named a consensus first-team All-American in 1993.
Following a stellar collegiate career, one in which he compiled ten interceptions on defense, while also rushing for another ten touchdowns on offense, Buris was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the first round (27th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft.
Napier and Norrid are familiar with one another, as Napier served as an analyst at Alabama in 2011, before returning as the receivers coach for the Crimson Tide from 2013-2016, while Norrid served as an offensive quality control assistant from 2009-2014.
Norrid began his coaching career as a student assistant at Arkansas for two years (2003-2004), before becoming a graduate assistant for Arkansas from 2005-2008.
After his six years at Alabama, Norrid worked as an offensive analyst at Auburn for two years (2015-2016), prior to being named to the FAU staff in 2018.
Scott has spent the last two seasons on the staff at North Texas. Prior to that, he was co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Virginia Tech (2016-2017), helping the Hokies to a pair of bowl games, including a 10-win campaign in 2016, a season that saw the Hokies win the ACC Coastal Division and defeat Arkansas in the Belk Bowl.
Stapleton, who was a starter at right guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they won Super Bowl XLIII following the 2008 NFL season.
He recently served as the offensive line coach at Sam Houston over the past three seasons.
Neighbors, who played at Alabama, served as the field graduate assistant, defensive graduate assistant, and defensive analyst for the Crimson Tide during the time Napier was on the Tide's staff as wide receivers coach.
Neighbors began his coaching career as an Alabama student assistant, before serving as an off-field graduate assistant, a defensive intern, a defensive graduate assistant, and as a defensive analyst, helping the Crimson Tide to three national titles (2012, 2015, and 2017).
In 2018 and 2019, Neighbors worked as the safeties coach at FAU, before moving to USF for the 2020 campaign.