Baseball: Former player starts GoFundMe Account for Coach Robichaux and family
Leigh Guidry, The Advertiser, July 5, 2019
An online fundraising effort for the family of the late University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux had raised more than $10,000 in the first day.
UL Coach Tony Robichaux watches the action from the dugout at UL plays San Diego State in the NCAA Baseball Division I Regional Tournament Saturday, May 31, 2014, at M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field in Lafayette. (Photo: Advertiser file photo)
Robichaux, UL's baseball coach for 25 years, died Wednesday morning with his family and loved ones at his side at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. He was 57 and had undergone two heart surgeries in recent weeks.
A GoFundMe account, or online fundraising campaign, attracted more than 50 donations big and small to get nearly to the halfway mark of its $25,000 goal by Wednesday afternoon.
Kraig Schambough, who played for Robichaux while at UL from 2001-05 and went on to pitch for the Kansas City Royals system, started the account Tuesday.
"Certainly I went in there as a baseball player, and he turned me into a young man," Schambough said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.
Schambough hopes fundraising surpasses the initial goal to help with medical costs related to the coach's heart attack, procedures, hospital stays and now funeral cost.Robichaux — a married father of three whose two sons, Justin and Austin, both played for the Cajuns — was hospitalized at Lafayette General Medical Center with a heart attack on June 23 and later transferred to New Orleans.
"His family should not be responsible for this (cost)," Schambough said. "... They've earned it through what Tony has done for so many of us."
The GoFundMe campaign page reads:
"We are putting together this campaign for coach and his loving family. There are unexpected bills that are going to arise from coach's unexpected medical illness. As everyone is aware of Robe's heart attack and the difficulties his family has endured recently. I personally believe this man, and his family that have given so much to our community over the past few decades should not have to worry about any medical bills or financial situations that should arise in the coming months. Please join along in helping our Robichaux family."
Comments from donors, many of them also former players, credit "Coach Robe" with the person they are today and thank him for the investment he made in them.
"You invested your heart and soul into so many of us. There isn’t a return investment large enough to repay the favor!" Jameson Parker wrote.
"I wouldn't be the man I was today without him in my life and I am forever grateful," Buddy Glass wrote.
"Thank you for investing in me as a father and in my son as a role model," Tully Blanchard wrote.
Find the fundraiser page here.