Former Sports - Milestones and Ragin' Cajuns Firsts
Do you have information on a "Milestone/Ragin' Cajuns First" Athletic Contest or special event to share with the Athletic Network?
If so, please email your "Milestone/Ragin' Cajuns Firsts" to Dr. Ed Dugas email@example.com - include your name, email address, and source. Sources may be media guides, game day programs, L'Acadien, Vermilion, newspaper articles, and/or other media sources or publications, etc. Photos are encouraged. You witnessing an event is considered a primary source.
On this page, the Athletic Network provides a broad overview of five former sports which are no longer sponsored by Athletics. For more complete information and photos, please click the photo gallery on the left side of the home page at www.athleticnetwork.net and also visit the Archive News page. Click any article in the News Box, then Archive News in the upper left of that page. Click the month/year of the article you seek and that month of headlines will appear. Click on the headline for the full story. Thank you.
Consider any former athletic team events/contests as suitable topics for this unique historical perspective.
Athough the five sports listed below are no longer sponsored by the Athletics Department, their thread will forever be a part of our athletic fabric and their history always important to the university.
Hopefully, the milestone pages for each sport below will encourage viewers to learn more about the sports listed below, how they rose into prominence and why/when their sponsorship by Athletics ended.
Boxing rode the waves of boxing mania gripping society in the South in the late 1930s, and the university took advantage of that popularity to begin its Boxing program. While "Happy" Davis was our first coach, George "Gee" Mitchell, built the program into national contenders.
During the 1930s, the Tumbling Team provided visibility for the university doing demonstrations in the area high schools and at university home athletic events. These were led by Physical Education faculty members.
In 1960, the university hired Jeff Hennessy, who doubled as coach of the Gymnastics team and Health & Physical Education faculty member. Later that team evolved into the Trampoline Team and attained International visibility for many years. Later, a Gymnastics Team was formed and it co-existed during the time of the Trampoline Team, while each had their own autonomy.
In 1956, off-campus efforts by several university students working out of a Lafayette health club resulted in them attending the national Weightlifting championships. Led by Mike Stansbury, the sport exploded, resulting in the university winning 10 national championships. There were numerous individual national champions during those years.
In 1963, shortly after Bowling was recognized as one of the lifetime sports in the U.S.A., through the efforts of Mr. N. R. Duff, the university sponsored its first bowling team. They were always highly competitive and excellent representatives of the university. In 1964, the team won the N.A.I.A. national championship.
In 1964, Dr. Louis Bowers taught wrestling in a university Physical Education class, and it rapidly grew to Club status, followed by becoming an athletic team sponsored by Athletics.
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To view the rosters of any former or current team, click on "Select a Team" in the upper left of the home page at www.athleticnetwork.net , highlight the sport, and click on it.
The alphabetical rosters will appear in chronological order. Click on a name to see what has been posted for that profile. Teammates, family, and friends are encouraged to provide the Athletic Network with information on deceased athletes. Thank you.
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Please click any of the sports below to learn of their existence at the university. They provided much excitement, many outstanding performances, many championships - many times achieved and over-achieved, with only meager resources. They produced many outstanding athletes and graduates. May we always remember them and their program, and thank them for being such outstanding representatives of the university.
Gymnastics / Trampoline