It’s a sad day for Lafayette and the world of college baseball.
Longtime Louisiana Ragin Cajuns baseball head coach Tony Robichaux passed away at the age of 57, per Tim Buckley of the Advertiser.
Robichaux suffered a heart attack last Sunday and underwent two subsequent surgeries.
“As we learned this morning of the passing of our beloved friend and colleague, Coach Tony Robichaux, our thoughts and prayers turned immediately to the Robichaux family and the numerous current and former student-athletes that he greatly impacted.” UL Director of Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard said in a statement release by the university. “A man of deep, unwavering faith, integrity and moral character, Tony Robichaux stood for so much more than the game he coached. I will forever be grateful for how he prioritized the development of his student-athletes as outstanding young men first, and baseball players second. Our community will forever benefit from his teachings, philosophies and leadership.”
He leaves behind his wife Colleen, three children Ashley, Justin and Austin, and eight grandchildren in Lon Paul, Ava, Silvia, Liam, Olivia and Levi Moody, and Evelyn and Roslyn Robichaux.
He is also survived by his father, Ray Robichaux, and three brothers.
Coach Robichaux, the winningest head coach in Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball history, leaves behind a legacy of servant leadership, compassion and faith that extends beyond the baseball diamond and into the lives of the thousands of student-athletes and staff he impacted in his 25 seasons leading the program.
At this time, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Department of Athletics asks that fans and the general public keep the Robichaux family and baseball program in their thoughts and prayers.
Here are reactions from various people that crossed paths with Robichaux.
UL Lafayette President Joseph Savoie
It is difficult to imagine this University, or this community, without coach Tony Robichaux.
For players and fans alike, he was Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball, a transformative, iconic figure who strengthened and nurtured the program for a quarter century.
Coach Robichaux recorded more than 900 victories during his tenure here, but his life and influence cannot, and should not, be measured in wins and losses alone.
Rather, his legacy rests in the lessons he taught student-athletes about their lives beyond the diamond. He urged them to be magnanimous in victory, reflective in defeat, and to exemplify integrity and determination in all they did.
Because he lived these principles, he was more than a coach. He was a lodestar, a light that guides travelers toward a destination. That’s how Tony Robichaux will be remembered by everyone who admired him and by the University he represented so well.
Gail and I join the University community in extending our condolences and prayers to Colleen, Ashley, Justin, Austin and the entire Robichaux family.
LSU Baseball Coach Paul Mainieri
“We are heartbroken by the news that Tony Robichaux has passed away, and we offer our sincere condolences to Tony’s family, friends and the entire Ragin’ Cajun community. Tony was an outstanding coach, but he was an even greater molder of young men, and the positive impact he made upon his players is immeasurable.
“Tony and I shared a mutual respect that was reflected in the way our teams competed against one another over the years, and I will always cherish those matchups between the Cajuns and the Tigers. Tony lived a life of profound significance, and he will be missed by all of us.”
Former Louisiana Ragin Cajuns Pitcher Gunner Leger
“To a man that was more than a coach…and wanted to be remembered for that, ‘more than’ part than anything. He believed there was good in everyone and always told us to make our mess our message. There was never a time when his talks did not intertwine life and sport…it was always about preparing us to win in life, not win a game. His biggest fear was that we wouldn’t be able to lead our own lives, our kids lives, and our families lives.
“He armed us all with the tools to win in life. He armed us to be leaders. He armed us to be good men, to be good husbands and to be good fathers. He always said ‘being a baseball coach is what I do, it’s not who I am. If I die and people talk about how many wins I had, I failed’
“Just know coach that you accomplished that goal. Your life lessons will live on forever in my household and many others. I know the man upstairs was waiting with open arms.”
McNeese State Head Coach Justin Hill
“My heart hurts right now for the entire Robichaux family. Coach Robe changed lives through baseball. He had every opportunity to elevate himself but he always chose to profess his faith and heap praise on his boys.
“His life is a model for leadership in every area from baseball to business, but most importantly how to be a man. I love you coach. Thank you for always giving your most precious resource, your time. I will always do my best to make you proud.”
UL Monroe Head Coach Michael Federico
“I’m at a loss of words right now for Coach Robichaux and his family. The man recruited me out of high school, which is kind of crazy. I competed against him the last few years at Southern Miss and then here at ULM. He was such a respected man. He’s done so much for college baseball, the state of Louisiana. He’s done so much for college baseball coaches, facilities, our league and so many different scenarios. It’s tragic.
“Just a few weeks ago, we were competing against each other. When we were in the (Sun Belt) conference tournament and we beat South Alabama, he made the comment to me, ‘I’m pulling for you guys. I’m always going to pull for those Louisiana teams. I’m really excited for you guys getting into the tournament.’ It was one of those neat moments at that time. He’s going to be deeply missed.”