Baseball: Maggard addresses search for Robichaux's successor
Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, July 11, 2019
UL athletic director Bryan Maggard on Thursday spelled out what he is looking for while searching for the successor to deceased head baseball coach Tony Robichaux.
Robichaux – coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns the past 25 seasons – died July 3, 10 days after suffering heart attack.
He was buried Monday in his hometown of Crowley.
In a letter addressed to “Cajun Nation” and posted exclusively on the school’s athletic website, Maggard asked UL fans to “please understand the task at hand is not to replace Tony Robichaux, as that would be impossible.”
Bryan Maggard. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)
“Rather,” Maggard wrote, “we will set out to identify our next head coach who will possess the character and standards our baseball program stands for and is accustomed to.
“We will commit to finding a coach,” he added, “who prioritizes the academic success of our student-athletes, focuses on the hearts of those he coaches, recruits relentlessly, and is a proven winner.”
Maggard also said the search process “will be quick but not hurried.”
In the days after Robichaux’s passing, two names – Anthony Babineaux and Matt Deggs – quickly emerged as obvious early favorites for the position, although the search is not necessarily limited to those two.
Babineaux – who attended Carenco High and UL – served by Robichaux’s side throughout his 25 seasons as head coach of the Cajuns, beginning as a student assistant in the 1995 season and rising through the ranks to associate head coach.
He’s been heavily involved in recruiting for the Cajuns, and this past season was put in charge of day-to-day off-field operations.
Deggs has been head coach at Sam Houston State in Texas since 2015, producing five straight winning seasons and taking the Bearkats to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and ’17.
He was a UL assistant coach under Robichaux for three seasons from 2012-14, overseeing recruiting and ending as hitting coach of the Cajuns’ 58-10 Super Regional team before taking the SHSU job.
Deggs also previously worked as assistant at Arkansas from 2003-05 and from 2006-10 at Texas A&M, where he rose to associate head coach.
Maggard was not made available for comment on the search, and suggested he will have nothing to say on the matter until a hire is made.
He has made three coaching hires in two-plus years since becoming athletic director at UL, bringing in Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier, a former Alabama assistant, to replace fired football coach Mark Hudspeth; Gerry Glasco, a former associate head coach at Texas A&M and Georgia, after softball coach Michael Lotief was dismissed; and former Trinity University women’s soccer coach Lance Key when Scot Wieland was not retained.
“In similar fashion to previous searches,” Maggard said, “I will have no further public comment until the time arrives that we announce our new coach.”
Remembering UL's Robichaux: Leger pours his heart out
Reds shortstop Trahan on Robichaux: 'You felt that light'