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Florida Gators’ Billy Napier: No one works harder than Jeff Scott

Napier had positive things to say about his friend and former coworker, whom USF fired Sunday.
Florida Gators coach Billy Napier and now-former USF coach Jeff Scott worked together at Clemson.
Florida Gators coach Billy Napier and now-former USF coach Jeff Scott worked together at Clemson. [ JOHN RAOUX | AP ]
Published Nov. 7

GAINESVILLE — Less than two months after Florida Gators coach Billy Napier was praising what Jeff Scott was building at USF, he was reacting to his friend’s firing.

“It’s a tough profession,” Napier said Monday during his weekly news conference.

Scott’s Bulls took the Gators to the brink in Week 3 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium; a botched snap and missed field goal kept USF from forcing overtime, allowing Florida to escape with a 31-28 win. It looked like the Bulls had turned a corner.

Related: Who will replace Jeff Scott as USF football coach?

Afterward, Napier — who worked with Scott at Clemson — said he “can’t credit South Florida enough” and that he had “a ton of respect for the program that Jeff is building.”

USF lost its next six games, culminating in a 54-28 loss at Temple this past Saturday that cost Scott his job.

“Jeff’s a great coach, right?” Napier said Monday. “He’ll bounce back.

“It’s the reality in this profession. But no one works harder or takes more pride in trying to do their job for others than Jeff Scott, I can promise you that.”

There has already been speculation that Scott’s next stop will either be on Napier’s army of support staffers at Florida or at Clemson, where Scott was the co-offensive coordinator under Dabo Swinney.

The Bulls, under interim coach Daniel Da Prato, host SMU on Saturday. The Bulls have not yet set a timetable on when they would like to hire Scott’s replacement.

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