Parental Perspective: Napier Meet & Greet with Player Parents II

Feb 17, 2022 | 0 comments

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On Saturday Florida's new football staff hosted the parents of multiple players for what was termed a 'meet and greet' but what was described by one parent as a junior day type of setup where the parents had an opportunity to not only get to know the new coaches but get a glimpse into what they have in store for their sons as well.

In December during bowl prep, Billy Napier began alerting family members that there would be an event for the parents of Florida football players after National Signing Day, when the entire new staff was in place.

The event began at 12:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon and ended at 6:30 p.m. after a meal in the Indoor Practice Facility.

The parents were broken down into three groups and then each group started on the presentations.

  • Introduction
  • Weight room
  • Training/Nutritionist
  • Head Coach Presentation and Q&A
  • Position Coach Presentation and Q&A
  • Gator Made/NIL
  • Dinner

Some coaches had family members in attendance, others didn’t because some still aren't in town yet as they are in the process of moving to Gainesville.

Inside the Gators spoke to multiple parents about the event and will share their stories over the next couple of days.

Safety Trey Dean's mother Kai Dean

Q: What is your initial impression of what Napier had to say to the parents and his eight-step breakdown?
A: I was highly enlightened with Coach Napier’s approach towards rebuilding and reactivating the Gator Standard within the football program.

Q: The players have been making a big deal on social media about better food and parking since the coaching change. What are your thoughts on improvements such as those? 
A: In building highly competitive athletes, it begins with nutrition… key factors are eating, mental thought, and resting. what you feed the brain and body is essential to a player’s mental strength capacity. As a parent, I’m very thankful that Coach Napier and his staff were able to resolve these issues in the best interest of the players. 

Q: What is your initial impression of the new defensive coordinator, and Trey's position coach, Patrick Toney?
A: Initial change is very difficult for most people. In the game of college football, the unknown from change can be frightening and uncertain. We have researched and been informed about Coach Toney’s strengths and proven coaching intelligence. During our individual position coach meeting on Saturday, I was very impressed with Coach Toney’s eye for detail and execution plan. As a family we are looking forward to seeing the influence of Coach Toney’s knowledge on our Trey, the secondary, and entire defense. As Coach Toney and Coach [Corey] Raymond work cohesively together in building a powerful competitive secondary, I believe DBU will arise again. 

Q: Do you see, feel, or does your son talk about any differences here in the first two months under Napier? 
A: Thus far Coach Napier’s word has been followed with resolutions and delivery. He shared with us, that he was going to build an infrastructure of subject manner experts, professional coaches, and staff that will cultivate a highly productive program that produces highly competitive college football players. He’s shown to be a very organized person with attention to the details of intentional planning and operating cohesively on the same page. Mountains can be moved and games can be won when all parties are working on the same vision, mission and goal. Looking forward to seeing the results from Spring Practice and beyond.

Q: What stood out the most about today?
A: Coach Napier’s verbal commitment to building unfailing TRUST among and within the team. When you build that kind of TRUST, players will run through walls and/or tackle down all obstacles.

Tight End Nick Elksnis' mother Katie Elksnis

Q: How did this all come about and what was the day like?
A: We were notified about this event about a month ago.  They wanted to do it right and placed a high priority on this event, but needed to wait until after National Signing Day in order to give it their full attention. Parents and players were invited as well as any other family that wanted to attend.  Not many players were there and not all parents, but it was very well attended. The entire staff was introduced and we had ample opportunity to meet anyone, personally, that we wanted to.

Q: What was the breakdown of events?
A: After the opening, we broke into smaller groups and were introduced more intimately with the strength staff, then the training room staff, and then finally Coach Napier.  In every “session” questions were welcomed and encouraged.  Nothing was off the table and they sincerely wanted to answer any questions or concerns parents had. 

After these larger group meetings, we all broke off into position group meetings.  Again, an open opportunity to be candid and ask any questions.  The final session was a presentation of the new GatorMade program which is an extremely detailed and thorough program to capitalize on countless opportunities that will benefit the players off the field and prepare them for life after football.

Q: What is your initial impression of the new tight end coach?
A: Once we got there we were immediately greeted by Ty Darlington the assistant tight end coach and then Coach [William] Peagler.  We are big fans of both of these men!  Nicholas likes them very much.  He likes all the staff he has worked with so far. 

Q: What is your initial impression of Billy Napier?
A: Coach Napier is as sincere a man as you will find! He loves what he does and the chance to shape and mold young men. His program is IMPRESSIVE! It is now and will continue to be tough for sure but in all the best ways. It will separate the wheat from the chaff.  Lots of areas that needed improvement are being handled in a swift and deliberate fashion.  As I said earlier- we are thrilled with this new staff and the direction this program is headed.

Q: What stood out the most about today?
A: As parents, we were thrilled with what we heard yesterday and with all the people we met.  To a person, everyone was so authentic, energetic, and positive – they have a genuine desire to make a positive impact on these young men in the time that they have with them. Every aspect of this football program is being curated to maximize the benefit for the players.  What is happening will truly be transformational for this football program and Gator fans should be super excited!

Tags: Sport

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