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One day after signing a two-year contract extension as UL's head football coach, Billy Napier's name is being floated around by some as a top candidate to fill the Mississippi State head coaching vacancy.

Is it time for UL football fans to hold their breath again?

Last month, coach Billy Napier’s name surfaced briefly for the Ole Miss head coaching job.

But that obstacle soon faded and everything looked clear for Napier’s return to the Ragin’ Cajuns.

On Friday morning, it was announced that Joe Moorhead was fired as Mississippi State’s head coach.

And of course, Napier is being listed by some as the leading candidate to replace Moorhead.

That news comes just one day after UL announced Napier signing a two-year extension to his current contract that theoretically would keep him in Lafayette through the 2025 season.

Yet, the rumors persist.

Asked about his future on Dec. 7 in Boone, N.C., and again in Mobile on Thursday, Napier responded with reasons why he would stay in Lafayette at this point in his career over taking a higher-paying SEC position.

“There’s a certain level of quality of life that goes with living in Lafayette and Acadiana,” Napier said Thursday. “That’s something that we appreciate, and I really believe we’re just getting started. We’ve made tons of progress, but certainly I think we’re capable of much more. We’re excited about the challenges that are ahead of us.”

Napier has stated numerous times how pleased he is with the leadership at UL.

“We’re thankful the administration believes in what its observed over the last two years and certainly we also believe in what we’re capable of as a program,” Napier said. “We’re appreciative of the leadership we have in our president and in our athletic director and the investors that we have in our community.”

UL director of athletics Bryan Maggard certainly spoke Thursday like he expects Napier to be around for at least one more season.

“He (Napier) and I both have the vision that this program can get much better than it already is, but the heights that he’s taken it already are extremely impressive,” Maggard said. “We know there was a lot of attention garnered toward him this year with many power five openings, and we feel extremely honored to extend his contract here. But more importantly, it was something that was well-deserved and something he certainly earned.”

And yet, his name continues to surface with each opening in and around SEC country.

Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.