Louisiana Coach Tony Robichaux Dies

Image credit: Tony Robichaux (Photo by Steven Lew/Getty Images)

Tony Robichaux, the winningest coach in both Louisiana and McNeese State program history, died Wednesday morning. He was 57.

Robichaux suffered a heart attack on June 23 and had two subsequent surgeries over the following week.

In a statement, Louisiana athletic director Bryan Maggard expressed his sorrow at Robichaux’s passing.

“A man of deep, unwavering faith, integrity and moral character, Tony Robichaux stood for so much more than the game he coached,” Maggard said. “I will forever be grateful for how he prioritiezed 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.”

Robichaux was very successful as a coach—his 1,177 career wins rank in the top 50 all-time among college baseball coaches—but his impact went beyond baseball for the teams and players he coached.

Last year, after Louisiana’s season ended with a loss in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Robichaux said he tries to teach his players not to let baseball become their identity.

“I don’t think the Good Lord is going to be up there with a radar gun and a stopwatch and some plyo boxes to see what kind of athlete they are,” he said. “I think he’s going to be up there and have some poignant questions for them. What kind of husband were you? What kind of father were you? Did you put your hands on your wife? Did you treat your wife the way a woman should be treated?

“I don’t think he’s going to say, ‘I don’t think you can get in, you got 10-run ruled by Texas State. I think he’s going to want to know what you’ve done with your life.”

On the field, Robichaux was a baseball coach his whole adult life. He began his career at McNeese State immediately following his playing career with the Cowboys. He coached at his alma mater for eight seasons, twice leading the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament and in 1988 led the Cowboys to their first ever Southland Conference championship.

McNeese coach Justin Hill said in a statement on Twitter that Robichaux was a model for other coaches.

Robichaux was hired at Louisiana following the 1994 season and coached there for the next 25 years. He in 2000 led the Ragin’ Cajuns to the College World Series, their first-ever appearance in Omaha. Under his guidance, Louisiana reached the NCAA Tournament 12 times and super regionals four times, including back-to-back appearances in 2014-15.

Robichaux had a career record of 1,177-767-2. He had the eighth-most wins of any active coach at the end of the 2019 season.

Robichaux is survived by his wife Colleen and their three children Ashley, Justin and Austin.

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