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Mr. Kevin "Fig" Figaro
Graduated 1981

Home:
101 Shadycrest Ave.
Lafayette, LA 70501

Work:

Home Phone: 337 -269-7082
Work Phone: 337-261-5094
Fax: 337-261-6972
Email: kfig15@netzero.net

New UL Hall of Fame class relished chance to shine

October 29, 2006 –
Bruce Brown
bbrown@theadvertiser.com

Nia Kiggundu arrived from the rarified air of Albuquerque, N.M.
Beverley Langley flew in from Amityville, N.Y.

Kevin Figaro was minutes away.

Jake Delhomme couldn’t make it, but he had a solid permission slip to miss the festivities from the Carolina Panthers.
The 2006 class of the Ragin’ Cajuns Lettermen’s Club is as eclectic as their addresses are far flung, but all shared a unique level of accomplishment and drive to excel.

“I had a great career at UL,” said Kiggundu, the school’s most decorated volleyball player and a record-setting performer from 1993-96. “It gave me the opportunity to grow as an athlete.

“What was most important to me was not the outcome, but the passion I had for the game. When you love what you do, that comes across in everything you do.”

Kiggundu set a Cajun record for kills that may never be broken. Her career mark of 2,227 is a staggering 903 more than her nearest pursuer and ranks among the Top 25 all time in NCAA history.

She currently is in pharmaceutical sales, stationed in her native New Mexico.

The trip to Saturday’s homecoming parade and luncheon at the Petroleum Club was much shorter for Figaro, a star at Lafayette High and from 1977-81 for the Ragin’ Cajun basketball program.

Known for his extraordinary leaping ability, Figaro was a defensive standout for the Cajuns until taking over the scoring load when Andrew Toney finished his career. As a senior in 1980-81, Figaro ranked 14th in the nation in scoring at 22.8 points per game.

He parlayed that talent into a success pro basketball career abroad, earning honors in France and Switzerland before returning to Lafayette in 1989.

“I enjoyed my four years at UL, on and off the court,” Figaro said. “I loved the game, and I played my heart out for the University and the team.

“I’d like to thank the guys who played with me who helped me become a better player.”

Figaro was joined by his parents, wife and three sons. He is the director of the Boys Group Home in Lafayette and remains active in AAU coaching.

Langley, a native of Jamaica who transferred to UL from Southern-New Orleans, was a star sprinter in track and field. She finished with nine Sun Belt Conference individual titles, four relay crowns and the 1997 women’s Sun Belt outdoors championship.

“I looked forward to representing UL at that time,” said Langley, who is in automobile sales in New York. “Coach (Tommy) Badon was so aggressive on the girls’ side, so I felt I had to do whatever I had to do to perform well.

“In winning the 1997 championship, the friendships…and the determination… I remember those days with tears.”

Teurlings Catholic product Delhomme, who posted a 25-18 record as a starting quarterback from 1993-96 and is UL’s all-time career passing leader, was in Charlotte preparing for the Panthers’ NFL home contest tonight against the Dallas Cowboys.

But the Breaux Bridge native sent his grateful regards via video.

“Whenever you play a sport, you never think about halls of fame,” said Delhomme, who was represented by his parents at Saturday’s luncheon. “You play for the love of it. I was lucky enough to have some great guys around me.”

“If you ask Jake, he’ll tell you he’s just playing football,” said brother Jeff, on his way to Charlotte for tonight’s game. “But Jake is larger than life. He doesn’t realize how many people he’s touched.”

“UL means a lot to me,” Delhomme said. “I grew up 10 minutes from there, and they gave me an opportunity to perform on the field. It’s good to see things get back to normal again (winning) with (coach) Rickey Bustle.

“It’s a great honor. It really is. More important – go Cajuns, get another win.”

Originally published October 29, 2006

Athletic Hall of Fame: Delhomme, Figaro picked

October 22, 2006 – Local products join Kiggundo, Langley to make up star-studded class

Dan McDonald
dmcdonald@theadvertiser.com

One is the most dominant player in the history of the UL volleyball program. Another is the most accomplished local player ever to grace the storied men’s basketball program. A third won 13 Sun Belt Conference track and field honors.
All the other one did was quarterback his NFL team to the Super Bowl.

It is an impressive group that will be honored Saturday with induction into the UL Athletic Hall of Fame, one of the highlights of the university’s Homecoming activities.

Football standout and Breaux Bridge native Jake Delhomme, Lafayette basketball standout Kevin Figaro, volleyball’s Nia Kiggundu and track and field sprint star Beverley Langley will be introduced at halftime of Saturday’s 4 p.m. UL-Middle Tennessee contest.
“This is a very deserving class,” said Ragin’ Cajun Lettermen’s Club president Tommy Badon. “Each one, in their own way, uniquely represents the university with class and integrity. And obviously they’re among the top athletes that have ever competed here in their sports.”

In addition to athletic excellence, Hall of Fame recipients must have earned a college degree and have shown character and citizenship in their lives following graduation.

Hall of Famers are selected by a committee of the Letterman’s Club, a group comprised of men and women who lettered at UL. The organization is a constituent chapter of the UL Alumni Association.

Jake Delhomme

Delhomme is in his fourth season with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and led his squad to the NFC Championship and a berth in Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston in 2004.

The Breaux Bridge native and graduate of Teurlings Catholic High started 43 consecutive games at quarterback for the Cajuns between 1993-96, starting the second half of the opening game of his natural freshman year and taking virtually every snap for the next four seasons.

He finished his career with 9,216 passing yards – at the time, the top mark in Louisiana football history – and 64 touchdowns. He threw for 5,662 yards and 40 scores in his final two seasons, after pacing UL to back-to-back Big West Conference co-championships in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Overall, the Cajuns posted a 25-18 record in Delhomme’s 43 starts against continually-improving schedules, and one of those 25 wins was the biggest home victory in the program’s history when he quarterbacked the Cajuns to the 29-22 win over Texas A&M in 1996.

Out of college, Delhomme signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints, then with the Carolina Panthers as a free agent in 2003. In four seasons with the Panthers entering today’s game at Cincinnati, he has thrown for 12,503 yards and 81 touchdowns while completing 59.2 percent of his passes. He had career bests for completions (310), passing yards (3,886) and touchdowns (29) in the 2003 Super Bowl season, and he was named to the Pro Bowl in 2004.

Kevin Figaro

Figaro came out of Lafayette High as a defensive specialist and was the youngest member of a squad that included some of the great names in Cajun basketball history, most notably UL Hall of Famer Andrew Toney.

His team reached the final eight of the NIT in his junior season in 1980 and Figaro was named honorable mention All-Southland Conference. The next year, though, the balance of that team left via graduation, and Figaro had to take on a complete different role. As a senior, he averaged 22.8 points per game, scoring almost as many points (639) as his first three years combined.

Figaro ranked 14th nationally in scoring that year and also led UL in rebounding on the way to first-team all-league honors before being drafted by the Atlanta Hawks. He played two years in the CBA, making that league’s All-Star team both seasons, and began an international career in 1984 that included stops in France and Switzerland.

Nia Kiggundu

Kiggundu is UL’s most decorated volleyball player and the only player in school history to earn All-Sun Belt Conference honors in each year of a four-year career. In her four seasons from 1993-96, she set a school record for kills with 2,227 – 903 more kills than her closest competitor and good enough to rank in the NCAA’s all-time career top 25.

She was the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year and Louisiana Freshman of the Year in 1993 and was a four-time Sun Belt Player of the week during her career. She also won three straight All-Louisiana honors in 1994-96 and was named the Louisiana Athletic Directors Association Player of the Year both in 1995 and 1996.

Beverley Langley

In a career that spanned indoor and outdoor seasons from 1996-2000, Langley garnered nine individual Sun Belt Conference sprint titles as well as four relay titles. Her times of 11.60 in the 100-meter and 23.47 in the 200-meter both rank in UL’s top four all-time marks, and she ran on three of the top four 400-meter relay squads in school history.

In 1996, Langley qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships in the 200-meter after winning both the league’s 100-meter and 200-meter crowns and running a leg on the league-champion 4×400-meter squad as a freshman. She also had an individual league title and a relay crown in helping the Cajun women capture the 1997 Sun Belt Outdoor Championship.

She won the league’s 200-meter title in each of her years of outdoor competition, and was named to both the Sun Belt’s indoor and outdoor 30th Anniversary teams.

Hall of Fame activities

The new UL Hall of Fame class will be involved in four activities Saturday during the Cajuns’ Homecoming celebration, centered around the 4 p.m. football contest against Middle Tennessee.

The Hall of Famers will ride in the annual Homecoming Parade at 10 a.m., a parade that features former Cajun and NFL standout Brian Mitchell as grand marshal. The honorees will then have formal induction ceremonies during an 11:30 a.m. luncheon at the Petroleum Club.

The luncheon is open to the public and tickets are $30. Information on tickets is available from Angela Morrison at the UL Alumni Office at 482-0900.

The Hall of Fame class will also be on hand at the Alumni Tailgating area prior to the game and will be introduced and honored during halftime activities.

Originally published October 22, 2006