Florida hires Louisiana football special teams coach; former Cajuns QB Gautier has new job

Tim Buckley
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Former Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football coach Billy Napier has taken another member of the UL coaching staff to Florida.

Ragin' Cajuns special teams coach Chris Couch has joined Florida with the title "Game Changer Coordinator." Game changer is Napier's nickname for special teams players. In his analyst role, the Gators said in a news release Friday, Couch will focus on Florida special teams.

Also this week, Michigan State hired former Cajuns quarterback Blaine Gautier as offensive analyst/assistant running backs coach.

Gautier will assist new Spartans running backs coach Effrem Reed, a former Cajuns running back recently hired after William Peagler, a former UL analyst, was hired by Napier to coach Florida's tight ends.

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Gautier, a former McNeese receivers coach and LSU offensive analyst, played quarterback at UL from 2008-12. Gautier also will work at Michigan State under offensive coordinator Jay Johnson, his UL offensive coordinator from 2011-12.

Couch worked from 2016-20 at Tulane, where he spent time as special teams analyst and recruiting coordinator. 

He wasn't one of UL's on-field assistant coaches under Napier, but he was the Cajuns' full-time special teams coordinator and director of quality control and analytics.

Couch joins former UL defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Patrick Toney, running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, assistant offensive line coach Darnell Stapleton and strength and conditioning coach Mark Hocke among those following Napier to Florida.

Napier left UL (13-1) one day after its Sun Belt Conference championship game win over Appalachian State in December.

Since then, at least 21 former UL assistant coaches, strength and conditioning staffers, recruiting staffers and other football staff members have followed Napier to Gainesville.

Napier also flipped former UL commit Christian Williams, an offensive lineman from Texas who signed with the Gators in December, and he's actively recruiting former Cajuns commit Hayden Hansen, an uncommitted tight end from Texas.

Three former Cajun players – starting right guard O'Cyrus Torrence, rotation-regular running back Montrell Johnson Jr. and reserve offensive lineman Kam Waites– all signed with Florida this month after entering the transfer portal. UL also lost running back Emani Bailey (TCU), receiver Kyren Lacy (LSU), cornerback Mekhi Garner (LSU) and linebacker Lorenzo McCaskill (uncommitted) to the transfer portal.

On Friday, however, UL starting safety Bralen Trahan, an Acadiana High product, indicated on Twitter that he'll remain with the Cajuns for his final college season.