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Louisiana-Lafayette hires Michael Desormeaux as coach to succeed Billy Napier

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 12/5/2021 Tim Buckley, Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Louisiana-Lafayette has its successor to Billy Napier.

The university has hired Michael Desormeaux, the school announced Sunday afternoon.

Desormeaux will become Louisiana’s 27th head coach, and the second – along with Napier – hired by athletic director Bryan Maggard.

Desormeaux, 36, a Cajuns quarterback from 2004-08, has no college head coaching game experience. But he has worked as an assistant under two Louisiana-Lafayette coaches.

“Throughout our search process, we were intentional in identifying someone who could carry on the winning (culture) that we have built at the University of Louisiana,” Maggard said in a statement. “We looked both internally and externally and it became very evident that not only is Mike Desormeaux ready to be a head coach, but he is the right head coach for our program now.

Michael Desormeaux, co-offensive coordinator, watches on the sidelines as Louisiana takes on Appalachian State. © SCOTT CLAUSE/USA TODAY Network Michael Desormeaux, co-offensive coordinator, watches on the sidelines as Louisiana takes on Appalachian State.

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"Mike has amazing relationships with every member of our nationally ranked team and is highly respected by the high school football coaches in the state of Louisiana. He is a man of unbelievable character and integrity, is highly respected in the college coaching profession, and has a very high football acumen.”

Desormeaux will take No. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette (12-1) to the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 18 to face Marshall.

Florida officially named Napier as its new coach Nov. 28, one day after a regular sending-ending victory over Louisiana-Monroe that marked the Cajuns’ 11th consecutive win at the time.

He stayed to coach No. 21 UL’s Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday against Appalachian State at Cajun Field. The Cajuns beat the Mountaineers 24-16 to win their first outright Sun Belt title.

Desormeaux was Louisiana’s running backs coach in 2016 and tight ends coach in 2017 under Mark Hudspeth, who was fired after seven years following the 2017 season.

Desormeaux was named interim head coach after Hudspeth was let go and before Napier was hired.

Napier retained Desormeaux as tight ends coach, and he promoted him to co-offensive coordinator along with receivers coach Tim Leger when offensive coordinator Rob Sale left after the 2020 season to coach the New York Giants offensive line.

A New Iberia native and product of Catholic High there, Desormeaux got his coaching start as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Catholic High from 2010-13, then was head coach at Lafayette’s Ascension Episcopal School for three seasons.

At Ascension Episcopal, he took over a AES program that finished 0-9 the year before and led them to five wins in 2013, eight the next year and an 11-2 record and the Division IV state semifinals in 2015.

Desormeaux briefly spent time on the practice squad of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars as a defensive back in 2009 and with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL before turning to coaching. 

Napier went 40-12 at Louisiana, including 2-1 in bowl games and 33-5 over the last three seasons.

He is the first Cajuns coach to take a Power 5 job after leaving Louisiana, and the only former Cajuns coach to lead an NCAA program immediately after leaving the school.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Louisiana-Lafayette hires Michael Desormeaux as coach to succeed Billy Napier

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