Just in time for baseball season, which opens this weekend, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is honoring the late coach Tony Robichaux with a new line of limited-edition merchandise.
The 36 Collection: Coach Robichaux Legacy Line includes men’s and women’s apparel, hats and other items. Each product features a commemorative logo that combines the No. 36 and the signature of longtime UL baseball coach Robichaux.
Robichaux died July 3 after suffering a heart attack. He secured more than 900 wins in his quarter-century career at UL, the most of any coach in the baseball program’s history. His uniform number was 36 throughout his tenure, according to Leslie Saloom, UL associate director of trademark licensing.
“Following Coach Robichaux’s death, 36 emerged as a symbol of his contributions to the university, to the athletics program and to the community beyond campus," Saloom said. "It was only natural then for the collection to carry this number as an immediately recognizable tribute to him and his legacy.”
Opening weekend will feature Deggs' debut as head coach, the retiring of Robe's No. 36 and, on Saturday, the unveiling of a statue of Coach Robe that was purchased by former players.
The product line is a collaboration between the university and the Robichaux family.
“Our family is honored and blessed to partner with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to further the legacy of Tony Robichaux, husband, father and community mentor,” said Justin Robichaux, the coach’s son and a former Ragin’ Cajuns baseball player. “Though we continue to mourn, we find comfort in knowing that the values and convictions he instilled in everyone he touched remain rooted in the Ragin’ Cajuns community that he loved and that loved him in return.”
The 36 Collection will be available throughout baseball season. Initial items include apparel, hats, wooden baseball bats and rubber bracelets. The bracelets feature “Robe-isms,” motivational phrases the coach weaved throughout his pep talks and public speaking appearances.
Other merchandise will be added as the season progresses, Saloom said. The Robichaux family will receive a portion of proceeds.
The 36 Collection debuts Friday in conjunction with the home opener of the 2020 baseball season. Events at the game and throughout the weekend will commemorate Robichaux. A statue of the late coach will be unveiled before Saturday's game.
The merchandise will be available starting Friday at The Ragin’ Cajuns Store locations at Russo Park and Blackham Coliseum. Merchandise will be available online next week.