GREENVILLE, S.C. — GREENVILLE, S.C. — Billy Napier is heading into his first season as the head football coach at Florida. But before he was working his way up the Power 5 coaching ladder, he was an outstanding quarterback at Furman.
Napier has been announced as one of the newest inductees into the Furman University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Napier was a part of two SoCon Championships, highlighted by the 2001 campaign that saw Furman post a 12-3 record, the league title and a NCAA I-AA (FCS) national runner-up finish. In that 2001 season, one of Napier's signature victories saw him connecting on all 12 pass attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown in a 24-17 triumph over Georgia Southern in the I-AA playoff semifinals, halting the Eagles’ 39-game home winning streak while representing their first home playoff loss in 28 games.
A two-time All-SoCon selection who ranks among Furman’s best in many passing and total offense categories, the Chatsworth, Ga., native began his coaching career in 2004, making several stops on the way to earning his first head coaching assignment at Louisiana in 2017, where he won four Sun Belt West Division Championships, including two outright league titles. He has also been an assistant at South Carolina State, Clemson and Alabama.
Other inductees into Furman's Hall of Fame are heralded women’s golf coach Mic Potter and former golfer Taylor Totland.
Potter, who directed Furman’s women’s golf program from 1983-2005, coached the Paladins to 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 1987. Furman’s NCAA worksheet during his tenure included six top-10 finishes and 12 top-15 slates, as well as NCAA regional qualifications every year beginning in 1993 when the format was established. An eight-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year selection, he directed Furman to 36 tournament titles and was instrumental in the growth of the Furman LPGA Pro-Am. Potter’s impressive list of former Paladin players, which includes 16 All-Americans and 12 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) alumnae, is headlined by Dottie Pepper, a 17-time LPGA Tour winner. His coaching success continued at the University of Alabama, where he directed the Crimson Tide to the 2012 NCAA National Championship and was named 2018 WGCA National Coach of the Year.
Totland was instrumental in putting the Furman women’s golf program back on the national stage, earning honorable mention All-America honors three times in her career. The first player in SoCon history to post top three finishes four times at the league championships, she was only the ninth four-time All-SoCon selection in the history of the league. As a sophomore, she qualified as an individual for the 2015 NCAA Championship after tying for fifth at the NCAA East Regional and went on to record three top-25 regional finishes in her career. She placed among the top 25 twice at the NCAA Championships and achieved a 39th-place national ranking her senior season. A native of Tinton Falls, N.J., and 2015 Edna Harness Furman Female Athlete of the Year, she led the Paladins to three SoCon Championships and ranks third all-time with a 73.34 stroke average over 125 rounds during her four-year career.
The date and time of the enshrinement ceremonies will be announced at a later date.