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Baseball: The 1,000 Victories of Tony Robichaux: Winner in Baseball, Champion in Life

Scott Brazda "View From The Bench" March 4, 2015 – Acadiana Gazette VIEW FROM THE BENCH

By Scott Brazda

THE 1000 VICTORIES OF TONY ROBICHAUX:
WINNER IN BASEBALL, CHAMPION IN LIFE

    

There are a number of reasons why I admire Tony Robichaux, and the first has nothing to do with baseball.
   “I coach baseball for a living,” Robichaux recently told a class of 8th-graders at Cathedral-Carmel School in Lafayette.  “But that’s not who I am.  Being a college baseball coach… does NOT define me.”
   Wait a minute:  a guy who now has, as of this past Saturday, 1,000 career victories as a college baseball coach, is not defined by the words ‘baseball coach’?
   Nope.  Not even with….. wait for it again….1,000 career victories.
   As he had done on three other occasions, the Ragin’ Cajuns’ baseball coach was a guest speaker in the junior philanthropy classes I teach a number of area high and middle schools.  His message was much more on, how should I say, racking up 1,000 victories in life… instead of on the diamond.
   “Once a week, we meet with our players, just to visit, just to find out how they’re doing as ‘men’,” Robichaux told the students.  “We hardly talk about baseball at all.  I just want to find out how things are going as students, and as sons, and as Christians.”
   O…..K…. Sure.  Right.  Baseball isn’t the end-all, be-all for a guy who has— oh, what’s the number again?— 1,000 career victories.   “I know that sounds funny, but it really isn’t,” said Robichaux.  “It’s like I told my players when we lost the final game of the NCAA Super-Regionals to Ole Miss.  I told them, ‘Don’t let this game define you.  Don’t let this game take away from you accomplished (author’s note: 58 wins and a #1 ranking) during the 2014 season.  And above all, don’t let this one game define who you are and who you’re going to be in life.  Being good sons and husbands and fathers and community leaders— let THAT define you.”
   It was January 23rd of this year when he visited Cathedral, still three weeks from official start of the season, and Robichaux was at 995 career victories.  Not once, not once, not once….did he mention any of the victories, either the ones that had occurred or the ones yet to come.  The words ‘College World Series’ and ‘number one in the country’ came out of my mouth, not his.
   Instead, Tony Robichaux discussed 13 hurdles the students might encounter in life, hurdles…obstacles…temptations that might keep them becoming good people with good hearts and good souls, a.k.a. good Christians.
   Running with the right people.  Being strong enough to stand up for your convictions.  Being humble enough to keep your EGO (“Edging God Out,” according to Robichaux) out of your life equation.  Being Godly enough to fight off the devil and the illicit temptations that he puts in your way.
   It’s good stuff.  Very, very good stuff.
   And when you hear it come out of the mouth of a guy who had won nearly 1,000 games, and now has won 1,000 games, it gives you a sign that good things do indeed happen to good people…and that good people do exist….and that one of those good people just so happens to be the head baseball coach of the school you’ve rooted for your entire life.
   The 6-5 victory that occurred Saturday over the Alabama Crimson Tide was a good victory, a good baseball victory for a young baseball team trying to measure up to the accomplishments of the team that came before.  Victory number 1,000.  But that’s the small picture.
   The big picture is this:  A good man got his 1000th victory this past weekend, a good man with extraordinary knowledge in the ways of baseball, and above all, a good man with extraordinary knowledge as one who molds and shapes human beings.  And that’s a very, very good thing.
   Tony Robichaux is our baseball coach, and Tony Robichaux has 1,000 career victories.  However, Tony Robichaux’s importance to the UL community, to Lafayette, to Acadiana, to Louisiana…transcends his accomplishments on the diamond in so very many ways. 
   So, yes, revel in his victories.  But even more important, be sure to celebrate the man.  Baseball does not define him; life defines him.
   It’s been a good life, I think.  And he’s a good man.  Appreciate him.

* * * * *
Athletic Network Footnote:
Please click here for a 2014 story in GEAUX, the football game day program, about the 2014 season.

Please click here for the report of the 6-5 win over Alabama in Hoover, Alabama on Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015. In his post game interview with Dan McDonald, Coach Robe graciously and humbly credited God, family, players, coaches, fans, athletic and university administration and the Acadiana area for his many blessings.  Posted by Ed Dugas, March 18, 2015