LAFAYETTE — The Louisiana-Lafayette softball coaching saga has taken another strange turn.
Michael Lotief, who stepped aside earlier this month as head coach and became a volunteer assistant, will return as head coach, effective immediately, the school announced late Wednesday afternoon.
“I am renewed,” Lotief said in a university release. “There is no question in my mind that this athletics department, this university and this softball program are committed to the journey to pursue excellence.”
Megan Granger, who served as interim head coach, will remain as an assistant coach, the school said. Former Cajuns standout Lana Bower also will remain as an assistant coach. Assistant coach Josh Johnson is on leave to play for the USA National Team in New Zealand.
Lotief has a 500-122 overall record and a 173-36 mark in Sun Belt Conference play in 10 seasons as co-head coach with his wife, Stefni. He took over as head coach last summer following Stefni’s departure.
Michael Lotief then resigned Feb. 8, one day before the Cajuns opened their season with a 5-2 win over Lipscomb in Houston.
At the time, Lotief told sportsnola.com that family issues were paramount in his decision, turning aside speculation that disagreements with athletic administration and increased work duties played a major role.
“I am happy that Michael will return as our head coach,” ULL Athletic Director Scott Farmer said. “The (ULL) softball program has matured and grown under Michael and Stefni Lotief and it is only fitting that a Lotief be in the dugout as its head coach.”
ULL went 13-2 under the guidance of Granger, who was a senior on last year’s NCAA Super Regional squad. The No. 13-ranked Cajuns face Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, Texas, College of Charleston and Illinois State this weekend in Kissimmee, Fla.