The legacy of late legendary Murray County High School football coach Bill Napier continues on in his children — and in the scholarship for local football standouts that bears his name.
Napier's oldest son Billy, the head football coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was on hand at Chatsworth City Park Saturday to present the Bill Napier Scholarship to three college-bound football players from schools the elder Napier made coaching stops at in his more than 30-year coaching career. Napier died in 2017 after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2013.
Murray County's Davis Redwine, who is bound for Reinhardt University, received one of the three $500 awards. Dalton High's Caleb Hernandez, who is headed for the University of the Cumberlands, and Adairsville's Tywun Gordon — destined for Shorter University — received the other two awards.
Napier spent 25 years at Murray County, including 16 as head football coach from 1999 to 2006. Napier later spent time on the staffs at Dalton, Adairsville and Southeast Whitfield.
The scholarship was established by Napier in 2015 and was designed to be awarded to football players at schools Napier coached at. An event was held to raise money to help with Napier's medical costs, but he wanted to give some of it back.
“We wanted the scholarship to go to kids who were good students and showed good character that were going on to play football in college on a partial scholarship,” Napier said in 2015.
The awards continue after Napier's 2017 death.
In 2020 with Murray, running back Redwine tallied 116 carries for 743 yards and three touchdowns while making 23 receptions for 198 yards. He signed with Reinhardt, an NAIA program in Waleska, in May.
Hernandez, a linebacker, tallied 108 tackles, three sacks and a fumble recovery last season at Dalton. Cumberlands, in Williamsburg, Kentucky, competes in the Mid-South Conference in the NAIA.