Longtime UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux suffered a heart attack Sunday and underwent open heart surgery Monday afternoon at Lafayette General Hospital.
The university confirmed the report by issuing the following statement:
"Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball head coach Tony Robichaux underwent a successful medical procedure following a heart attack that hospitalized him late Sunday night.
The procedure was conducted at Lafayette General Hospital. Robichaux is expected to make a full and complete recovery," according to the statement.
“Our number one priority is Coach Robichaux’s health,” athletic director Bryan Maggard said. “We will be supporting Coach and his family in every way possible. I’m certain that Ragin’ Cajuns fans everywhere are sending their prayers.”
Robichaux is the winningest baseball coach in the UL history and entered this past season as the No. 8 active winningest coach in NCAA history. His career record is 1,177-773, including 914 wins at UL.
His Ragin’ Cajuns were 28-31 this past season, falling short of an NCAA regional for the third consecutive season. After being picked to win the Sun Belt West by the league's coaches in their preseason poll, the Cajuns' season never approached its potential due to injuries, leading to one of seven non-winning seasons during his stint as the Cajuns' coach.
(Editor's Note: By all standards, the 2018-19 athletic school year was a disappointing one for many UL Ragin' Cajuns programs. This is the nin…
Robichaux began his career with the Ragin’ Cajuns in 1995 after being McNeese State’s head coach from 1987-94. He’s also the winningest head coach in McNeese State history. Robichaux played for the Cajuns from 1982-84.
During his successful tenure as UL’s baseball coach, the Crowley native led the Cajuns to the one College World Series in 2000, to a No. 1 national ranking in 2014, 12 NCAA regionals, 18 winning seasons and four NCAA super regionals.
During that stretch, Robichaux has coached 29 All-Americans, 90 All-Sun Belt performers and 55 All-Louisiana performers. He's been the Sun Belt Coach of the Year four times and the All-Louisiana Coach of the Year six times. He's also been the ABCA South Central Region Coach of the Year on four occasions.
Despite the disappointment of the 2019 season, Maggard's confidence in the school's most tenured head coach did not waver.
“The man has forgotten more about baseball than most of us will ever know,” Maggard said shortly after the conclusion of the season. “I have a tremendous amount of faith in him. I’m excited to sit with him and delve into what we need to do to get you back on the winning track and be as successful as he can be.”
In fact, Maggard's respect for Robichaux's leadership skills only grew during litany of obstacles his team endured this past season.
“There’s so much that can be said about holding a team together,” Maggard said. “In sports, we’re going to face adversity. I feel like sports is a microcosm of life overall. There are highs and there are lows. There’s opportunities and there’s successes and there’s failures. That epitomizes coach Robichaux’s leadership — not his coaching, but his leadership. His team is a true reflection of him as a man and as a coach.
"I think that speaks volumes when you can take a group of 18- to 22-year-old young men and have the type of season they did and yet keep them together and keep them focused, keep them calm and make sure they represent our university and our athletics program at the highest level, win or lose, that’s pretty special.”