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Ike impacting Cajun athletics – Trahan pegged for Baseball job – Dwayne Mitchell getting his shot

Joshua Parrott • jparrott@theadvertiser.com • September 12, 2008

The plans for UL’s athletic teams quickly changed on Thursday with Hurricane Ike likely to come closer to Louisiana than previously expected.

Daryl Cetnar, UL’s sports information director, said the Ragin’ Cajun football team would be unable to fly out of Lafayette to Champaign, Ill., for Saturday’s game against Illinois. He said the team would bus from UL’s campus to Shreveport. From there, the team would fly to Champaign.

All other UL athletic activity for the weekend has been suspended, Cetnar said. The UL-LSU soccer match, set for 5 p.m. today in Lafayette, was canceled. The programs will attempt to reschedule the match. The Cajuns are scheduled to travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., on Sunday to play Southern Miss.

UL’s volleyball tournament, set for today and Saturday, has been canceled. The Cajuns will try to reschedule their matches with Northwestern State, McNeese State and Nicholls State.

The cross country team will not compete in the Mook 4 Invitational meet at Louisiana Tech in Ruston. The Cajuns will try to add another meet later in the season.

Trahan pegged for job

UL’s baseball program turned to an in-state Sun Belt foe to finalize its coaching staff.

Mike Trahan, an assistant at ULM, is expected to be hired for the same position with the Ragin’ Cajuns. He would replace John Szefc, who left for the University of Kansas in August.

On Thursday morning, UL head coach Tony Robichaux recommended the hiring of Trahan to athletic director David Walker. Once Walker passes it along to UL president Joseph Savoie, the hiring would become official with the approval by the UL system board of supervisors.

Trahan is expected to serve as UL’s recruiting coordinator and hitting coach and be the first-base coach. Current assistant Anthony Babineaux will be the third-base coach after coaching first base.

Trahan, a four-sport athlete at Jennings High that led the football team to a state title in 1992, did not return a call left in his office on Wednesday concerning the opening. He is expected to fill the slot vacated when Szefc ended his six-year tenure with the Cajuns to go to KU.

For the past two seasons, Trahan has worked with ULM’s infielders and hitters as the Warhawks broke the school record for home runs both years. Last season, ULM won the Sun Belt title and set school records for hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs and total bases. Returning senior shortstop Ben Soignier was named to a pair of All-America teams and led the NCAA in runs per game.

Before going to ULM, Trahan previously spent five seasons as an assistant and the recruiting coordinator at McNeese State. Trahan helped McNeese State win Southland Conference titles in ’03 and ’06, with the ’03 team advancing to the NCAA Tournament.

Trahan began his coaching career with two seasons at LaGrange High in Lake Charles. That came after earning all-Southland Conference honors as a junior and senior at McNeese State as an infielder in ’96 and ’97. He later played professional baseball from ’97-’01, including a stop in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization.

The Cajuns hope Trahan helps the team improve on last season’s 30-29 record. Injuries and inconsistencies resulted in a down year. UL ranked last in the Sun Belt in hitting and defense after being picked in the preseason to win the league.

Getting his shot

Former Cajun men’s basketball standout Dwayne Mitchell was recently spotted playing pick-up games on campus.

The 6-5 guard signed an undisclosed contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in August. He averaged 6.7 points on 61.9 percent shooting, 1.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.83 steals in six games for the Lakers 2008 Summer-Pro League team in Las Vegas.

Mitchell averaged 20.4 points last season and was a NBA Development League All-Star for the Iowa Energy. He left in February to play in Germany, where he averaged 10.7 points for Brose Baskets Bamberg.

Lakers training camp starts Sept. 30. Mitchell is expected to fight for minutes behind Kobe Bryant with Sasha Vujacic and Coby Karl.

As a senior, Mitchell led the Cajuns in scoring, rebounding, steals and assists and helped UL to the NCAA tournament twice.