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Coach Yvette Girouard’s Tribute

Coaching Highlights and Autobiography
Yvette Girouard USL Head Softball Coach 1981-2000  

 

Career Record: 1,285-421-1

NATIONAL HONORS

2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee

2001 NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year

1990, 1993 NFCA National Coach of the Year

Seven-Time NFCA South Region Coach of the Year

Second-Winningest Active Division I Coach

Third-Winningest All-Time Division I Coach

Fifth-Best Winning Percentage Among Active Division I Coaches

Fifth-Best All-Time Division I Winning Percentage

POSTSEASON ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Five Women's College World Series Appearances

One of Three Coaches to Lead Two Programs to the WCWS

20 NCAA Regional Appearances

10 National Top 10 Finishes

CONFERENCE HONORS

2001, 2002, 2006 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year

2000 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year

1984, 1985, 1987 Southland Conference Coach of the Year

Nine Conference Championships (UL-Lafayette was Independent from 1988-1999)

STATE HONORS

14-Time Louisiana Coach of the Year

2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Inductee

2002 Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee

2008 New Iberia Recreation Department Softball Hall of Fame Inductee|

St. Cecilia School Hall of Fame Inductee

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

30-Straight Winning Seasons

42 All-Americans

16 Academic All-Americans

MILESTONES

First win: USL def. New Orleans, 8-3, 1981

100th win: USL def. Louisiana-Monroe, 5-1, April 13, 1985

200th win: USL def Centenary, 2-0, April 23, 1988

300th win: USL def. Samford, 3-1, Feb. 24, 1991

400th win: USL def. South Carolina, 6-1, April 11, 1993

500th win: USL def. Louisiana Tech, 6-0, March 19, 1995

600th win: USL def. Southwest Missouri State, 1-0, March 29, 1997

700th win: USL def. Southeastern Louisiana, 9-1, April 15, 1999

800th win: LSU def. Kentucky, 5-2, April 21, 2001

900th win: LSU def. Alabama, 4-3, March 29, 2003

1,000th win: LSU def. Arkansas, 8-3, April 6, 2005

1,100th win: LSU def. Auburn, 9-0, March 31, 2007

1,200th win: LSU def. Arizona State, 10-2, May 16, 2009

St. Cecilia, Broussard, LA. – 1st through 8th grade

Comeaux High School, Lafayette, LA. – 9th through 12th

University of Southwestern Louisiana , BS in Health & Physical Education 1976
(Member of the Volleyball team and named 1976 Female Athlete of the Year)

Ton’s Drive In – 1965 on and off until 1994

Lafayette Parish Recreation Department 1973

St. Cecilia (Broussard) taught PE 1974

Ascension Elementary taught PE 1975

Lafayette High School PE teacher Volleyball and Softball Coach 1976-1979

Comeaux High School PE teacher and Softball Coach 1980

1981 – 2000 Head Softball Coach USL

2001- 2011 Head Softball Coach LSU 

As I was being interviewed for the USL Softball job in the fall of 1980 I was told you have no park, no uniforms, no budget and no scholarships, but we do expect you to win.  I just laughed and said ok with the urging of my former player at Lafayette High, Lady Cajun standout, Ursula Quoyeser. Five different city parks, my mom making the first uniforms out of hand-me-down basketball warm ups, no scholarships, and a truly part-time coach in that first year yielded the ONLY losing softball season in Cajun history. I remember the second field being across from the track on Bertrand drive and telling the players that we had to retrieve balls in the road before they went in the drain and intramural softball players walking over our makeshift outfield fence to get their balls. Finally Dr. Authement said we would build a park on the dairy farm before Cajun Dome Boulevard was built. I thought “dang no one will ever find us”, as I came face to face with a bull at the overgrown fence.  Needless to say that area was the ricest soil at the Athletic Complex.

Building the program was a labor of love. The hardest thing I have done in my life was leave to go to LSU. The fans were the hardest to leave. I will always be grateful to the University for giving me a career I never dreamed of.

My mom and dad, Alton and Rose Mary Girouard were front and center of my career.  They loved, loved, loved their Lady Cajuns and their families. My mom was the “queen of the park” and relished that role. Mama G said her role was to love those girls who were away from their families. She fed the team often, and loved to cook for “her girls”.

My dad was available to help me whether it was painting the red fence, or giving me his hand me down trucks so I could drag the infield.  My brother and sister in law, Karl and Juanita Girouard worked for my parents so they could follow the team. My nieces, Tammy, Tessie and Hollie Girouard were the best cheerleaders and bat girls an aunt could wish for.  

I love to fish and travel and of course still be in the outdoors. My bucket list of items is slowing getting punched out in my retirement. I also love doing color commentary for LSU Volleyball and Softball for SEC TV.  I am having fun at the ballpark again!

I believe you are who you work to be. My career I think was summed up with hard work. I learned that first hand from my parents who worked for so very long at 9 hours a day 7 days a week. Refusing to take the answer no to a question never stopped me from trying to make it a yes at its conclusion.

Every athlete, coach and family member who I encountered over my 35 year career impacted and molded my life. I pray that my interaction with them was as satisfiying.  I was not able to play sports at a young age, but God granted me a career that I am truly grateful for.  

I treasure my time with my Lady Cajuns, they were the BEST times of my life.

Submitted by Yvette Girouard with assistance from Jennifer Rodrigues, LSU Sports Information.

* * * * * *
To view photos of Coach Girouard’s Softball teams while at USL, click on www.athleticnetwork.net , Photo Gallery, Softball and any of the years, 1981-2000.

Click here for the 2013 Softball Photo Gallery which includes photos of the 2013 team, the April return to Lamson Park by Yvette, and a photo taken at the Nov., 2013 Softball Reunion.

 

 

Click here for her biography posted at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame when she was inducted in 2015. Below her biography is the story written by Dan McDonald for her induction.

Click here for Kevin Foote's April 18, 2013 article about Coach Girouard's long-awaited return to Lamson Park.

Yvette lettered in Volleyball at USL for four years. Two years of USL Volleyball team have been captured by the AN. Please go to the Volleyball Photo Gallery, then click on 1973 & 1975.

Click here for the Nov. 9, 2013 story by Dan McDonald entitled, “UL Softball – 30 years of Guts and Glory.”

Yvette is a 1976  graduate of Health & Physlcal Education at USL. In preparation of the College of Education Academic Showcase in Nov., 1998 and the Centennial Celebration the following year, she wrote one of the letters in posted in the Book of Letters. Please click here for her letter and click here for the link to the 147 letters in the Book of Letters.

Please click here for the listings of the Conference Championships and Post Season Appearances for Softball during Coach Girouard's tenure.

Posted by Dr. Ed Dugas  athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu

* * * * * *

Living Memorials (LMs) posted below were submitted by former players and support group members who were part of the Softball Program while Coach Girouard was coaching at the university or have a professional association with her. They were posted in the order in which they were received by the AN. Now that the foundation for her tribute has been activated, former softball players and support group members of Coach Girouard are encouraged to submit their LM at any time by emailing them to athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu

Donna Crooks Delahoussaye 83-86, Sharen Wynn Softball 83-85 & Volleyball 82-84, Cathy Sconzo-Blackburn 89-92, Jerie Alexander 98-2002 comprised the Steering Committee for the Coach Yvette Girouard Tribute. A special acknowledgement is made to all who contributed to the success of this electronic tribute to Coach Yvette Girouard, one of the university’s outstanding coaches. 

* * * * *
  

Lana Jimenez-Stokley - Softball 1994-97, Asst. Coach 1998-2000 (3/29/2017)
Janine Johnson Lafleur - Softball 1987-90 (4/20/2017)   
Wright Waters - USL Associate AD 1983-85; Sun Belt Conference Commissioner 1998-2012; Currently Executve Director, Football Bowl Association (5/19/2017)
Terry Don Phillips - USL Athletic Director 1983-1988; Clemson Athletic Director, 2002-2012 (5/19/2017)
Catherine Sconzo-Blackburn - Softball 1989-1992 (5/21/2017)
Lyn Rollins - PBP Broadcaster, SEC/ESPN Network, ESPN 3, Cox Sports Television (5/26/2017)

John Dugas - USL/UL Athletic Department, 1994-2017, Currently Associate AD For Internal Operations (6/6/2017)
Sharen Wynn - Softball 1982-85 & Volleyball 1982-84 (6/6/2017)
 
Dorsey Steamer - Softball 1989-92, Track & Field 1993 (6/11/2017)
Sherry R. LeBas - HPE Faculty 1973-80, Athletic Administrator 1975-2012, Coach/Sponsor 1967-85 (W. Tennis, Volleyball, Cheerleaders, Sweethearts, Ragin' Jazz) (6/11/2017)
Susan Williams Chambliss - Softball 1987-90 (6/12/2017)
Greg Sharko - Student Assistant, Sports Information Dept., 1981-85; Currently Director of Media Information for the ATP World Tour, the governing body of men's professional tennis (6/24/2017)
Alisa Smith - Softball 1984-88 & Volleyball 1983-86 (6/26/2017)
Doug Ireland - First USL Assistant Director, Sports Information 1982-85; Asst. Athletic Director/Sports Information Director, Northwestern State University 1989 to present (6/30/2017)
Patrick Murphy - USL Grad. Asst. Sports Information 1989-90 & Asst. Softball Coach 1990-94, U. of Alabama Head Softball Coach 1998 to present (7/4/2017)
Donna Clark - Softball 1980 (7/19/2017) 
Tiffany Whittall Harris - Softball 1992-1995 (8/16/2017)
Jerie Alexander - Softball 1998-2002 (8/20/2017) 
Patricia Pourciau - Softball 1980-82 (9/12/2017)
Melissa Skow Pease - Softball 1992 & 1993 (11/30/3027)


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