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Gainesville Fisher House and UF Gators head coach Billy Napier collaborate.

In front of five limited-edition black jerseys honoring members of the armed forces, veterans, and local first responders, University of Florida Gators head football coach Billy Napier is pictured with Mrs. Patti Fabiani, Executive Director of the Gainesville Fisher House Foundation; Mr. Rick Fabiani, President of the Gainesville Fisher House Foundation; and Mr. Kimo Ortiz, Gainesville Fisher House Manager (far left). The Gainesville Fisher House will directly profit from the jersey sale on May 25.
Author: Ryan Jernegan


In a collaborative effort with the Gainesville Fisher House, Billy Napier, the head football coach at the University of Florida Gators, has donated five limited-edition UF Gator football jerseys. These will be put up for auction on May 25.

This example strengthens the long-standing partnership between UF and the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System.

The Gators honored local first responders, veterans, and members of the military services on November 4, 2023, during their game versus the Arkansas Razorbacks while wearing special edition black jerseys during the 2023 college football season. The jerseys’ nameplate features the following words: honor, courage, dedication, integrity, and excellence—words that are strongly linked to military duty and emergency response.

Coach Napier said the shirts were originally intended to raise awareness and show respect and admiration for first responders and all branches of the armed forces.

“I believe that choosing our own path in life is a special choice,” Napier remarked. It takes a unique combination of qualities to pick that road and risk your life, and in my opinion, the military best captures the essence of teamwork and life in general. I greatly admire them for their selflessness, self-control, and interpersonal relationships.

The Gainesville Fisher House Foundation, which offers cozy and reasonably priced accommodation to families of veterans receiving care at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center in Gainesville, will directly benefit from the auction of the distinctive, signed jerseys.

The National Fisher House Foundation and the general public contribute to the construction of Fisher Houses, while the local Veterans Health System is in charge of the completed homes’ operating expenses. The Gainesville Fisher House is completely outfitted, has 20 bedrooms, a large, fully functional kitchen, dining areas, washers and dryers, and is roughly 15,000 square feet. It is also 100% handicapped-accessible.

Coach Napier continued to praise the Fisher House and its goal. According to Napier, “The Fisher House is unique in its cause and the help they provide.” “I believe that the Fisher House is special because the people who defended the liberties we may take for granted are also families.”

The North Florida/South Georgia VHS is appreciative of Coach Napier’s work and anticipates more collaborations that will deepen our bonds with the community, which benefit both our veterans and the larger Gainesville area.

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