The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame is getting ready to hold its annual induction ceremony for the class of 2022, which will happen later this month. Among the inductees is legendary Ragin' Cajun baseball coach, the late Tony Robichaux, who is the winningest baseball coach in Louisiana history.

Doug Ireland, chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, joined Joe Cunningham on KPEL's Joe Cunningham Show on Wednesday to talk about the impact that Coach Robichaux had on the University of Louisiana and Louisiana sports as a whole.

"He played and coached at UL," Ireland told Cunningham on the air. "He played and coached at McNeese."

"He was an extraordinary success story, and that was rooted in the man that he was and the influence that he cast," he added.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame website briefly lists several of the reasons Robichaux's induction just makes sense.

Robichaux tops the state college baseball victory list and ranks 28th all-time in NCAA Division I history with a 1,117-767-2 record in a 33-year career at McNeese and UL Lafayette, which flank his hometown of Crowley. A pitcher in the early 1980s at both schools, he was head coach at McNeese from 1988-94, then spent 24 years (1995-2019) with the Ragin’ Cajuns until his unexpected death in mid-summer. He led UL to a fourth-place finish in the 2000 College World Series, in the school’s first trip to Omaha. He produced 12 NCAA Regional appearances and four Super Regionals, and a No. 1 national ranking for several weeks late in the 2014 season. Robichaux, who developed 86 major league draft picks and 29 All-Americans, will enter the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in January.

Tony Robichaux praying
Photo by Brad Kemp

However, in what shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, Robichaux's legacy is still in action this baseball season as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns head to College Station for the NCAA Regionals. They won a brutal gauntlet against Georgia Southern, who is also in the NCAA tournament, for the Sunbelt Conference championship. It was a thrilling weekend bout that saw the Cajuns topping Georgia Southern 5-4.

The No. 3 seed Cajuns will take on the No. 2 seed TCU Horned Frogs Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN+.

Robichaux led the Cajuns to regional competition a dozen times, including 2000 when he led the team to Omaha for the College World Series. The program he helped build at UL has continued strong.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame induction week begins on Wednesday, June 23, with an opening ceremony and welcome reception at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Celebrations continue that Thursday and Friday, concluding with the induction ceremony.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremonies have existed in some form for several decades, but only in the last 15 or so years has it gotten a permanent physical location in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Since the building was constructed, it has been home to several major exhibits featuring some of the greatest athletes in Louisiana history. It has also been the home of the induction ceremonies since construction was completed.

Robichaux's induction will officially put enshrine him among other legends, including Shaquille O'Neal, Peyton and Archie Manning, and so many other major names in sports.

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