Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns football has its successor to Billy Napier.
UL has hired Michael Desormeaux, the school announced Sunday.
Desormeaux will become UL’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. He will be formally introduced at a news conference Tuesday.
Maggard said he offered Desormeaux the job and Desormeaux accepted Friday morning. Contract details have not been disclosed, but Maggard said they would be Tuesday.
“I could not be more excited,” Maggard said.
“This was a very thorough process, candidly. We looked internally and externally, and I met with the team as well. And every time, we just came back to Coach Desormeaux. He checked all the boxes.”
Maggard said both defensive coordinator Patrick Toney and strength coach Mark Hocke are leaving the program but also said it remains uncertain whether other staffers will remain with Desormeaux.
Florida officially named Napier as its new coach Nov. 28.
He stayed to coach in the 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.
Napier was the Cajuns’ coach for four seasons.
Desormeaux was UL’s running backs coach in 2016 and receivers coach in 2017 under Mark Hudspeth, who was fired after seven years following the 2017 season.
Desormeaux was named UL’s 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.
With Desormeaux and Leger supporting Napier, who called plays, UL has won 12 straight.
The program, Maggard believes, remains in good hands.
Maggard cited Desmormeaux’s “ability to build positive relationships, with no only his teammates, but with coaches, with people in the community, with high school coaches, on the recruiting trail, it doesn’t matter.”
“This program has been built on relationships, and I am looking forward to continuing to build and advance this (culture) that we have created,” Desormeaux said in a statement. “I am most excited that I get to stay and continue this journey with these men in that locker room. They are a very talented and special group.”
A New Iberia native and product of Catholic High there, Desormeaux got his coaching start as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Catholic from 2010-13, then was coach at Lafayette’s Ascension Episcopal School for three seasons.
At Ascension Episcopal, he took over a 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 UL, 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 UL, and the only former Cajuns coach to lead an NCAA program immediately after leaving the school.
Napier replaced Hudspeth, who spent seven seasons at UL, after the conclusion of the 2017 season. This transition, Maggard believes, will be just as seamless as the last.
“We have a great product,” he said. “We don’t need to rebuild, we don’t need to reset.
“All we just need to do is continue to advance and enhance the culture as we know it today.”
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football Michael Desormeaux new coach