LAFAYETTE — A full spring practice period is crucial for Louisiana football after a pretty sizable reshuffle of its coaching staff, particularity on defense.
Galen Scott (Inside Linebackers) Jeff Burris (Cornerbacks) and Wes Neighbors (Safeties) headline the defensive shuffle. Defensive coordinator Patrick Toney has also moved from coaching safeties to outside linebackers.
It's the biggest shuffle since Billy Napier took over in Lafayette, but Napier is more than confident in the hires.
"A lot of it is the network of people in our profession, and you're always looking for someone you know and trust to put your name on them," said Napier. "We were fortunate to acquire the coaches we do have now and certainly pleased so far with their contribution to our organization."
Burris comes to Lafayette, from Louisiana Tech. A 10-year NFL veteran, Burris started in 2011 with the UFL's Sacramento Mountain Lions. Since then he's stopped at UMass, Miami Dolphins, Notre Dame, and Northern Iowa.
Galen Scott left North Texas to come to Louisiana. Before North Texas Scott coached at Memphis and Virginia Tech. He started coaching with Illinois State, his alma mater, he was the the Division I-AA (now FCS) assistant coach of the year in 2005.
Neighbors left South FLorida after one season. The Alabama alum joined Nick Saban's staff as a graduate assistant in 2011, he served as a defensive assistant with the Tide until coaching at FAU.
Napier built a strong defensive staff under second year coordinator Patrick Toney, who said himself the candidate pool was deep.
"You'd be shocked to know who was interested in our jobs. We had a lot of interest and that's a testimony to what coach Napier has done to our program, Dr. Maggard, the community and the production we've had," he said. "We had people fighting for all of them. It was awesome."
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