Baseball: Community unites in prayer to support UL baseball coach Robichaux
Nick Fontenot, The Advertiser, July 2, 2019
As UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux continues to battle for his life after multiple surgeries over the last two weeks, community support continues to pour in.
Proof of that support was evident Tuesday night at Russo Park when approximately 1,000 fans, current players, former players, coaches and administrators showed up for a prayer service and Rosary.
“We are very appreciative as an athletics department and, I know I can speak on behalf of the Robichaux family, in expressing great gratitude and thanks for the continued support,” said UL Director of Athletics Bryan Maggard just prior to attending the prayer service himself.
“I think the support speaks volumes, but (it) only speaks to a fraction of what Coach Robichaux means to this community, to the region and to the sport of baseball. I think it’s a great representation of what Tony has done for this community and the impact he has had. I’ve always said he is a developer of men and he coaches baseball second. I think this is a tribute to that.”
No formal update was given on Robichaux’s condition other than that he remains in critical condition at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans and that he is continuing to fight.
“He is in a fight,” Maggard said. “We know that. We just ask for continued prayer.”
The Rev. Bryce Sibley of Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church and Student Center on UL’s campus led the Rosary. Ken Meyers, who played at UL just before Robichaux became head coach, said Robichaux’s principles of faith spearheaded Tuesday’s service.
“Coach Robe lives on the principles that his faith is personal, but it is not private,” Meyers said. “Tony has told me many times that keeping his faith private is no good to anyone. So we thought tonight, as ex-players and friends of this program, for all of you who have been praying, to come out and make your faith public.
“Coach has been such a big part of our lives and a big part of this program, and as he continues to recover in his time of need, we continue to pray for him.”
Maggard said he has received an outpouring support from baseball coaches and administrators from around the Sun Belt Conference and across the country.
“The Sun Belt Conference officials have reached out to us and Commissioner (Keith) Gill has reached out to me and numerous athletics directors,” Maggard said. “Former baseball coaches who know Tony have reached out and it’s an overwhelming amount of support coming from all over the country.”
“Our hope is that he gets back on his feet and I am personally committed to this,” Maggard said. “His health is going to be his No. 1 priority moving forward. That has to be the case, but we do very much look forward to getting him back to our family.”
Click here for the photo gallery of the prayer vigil.