NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - Tony Robichaux, the head baseball coach of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has died at the age of 57, according to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Robichaux suffered a heart attack on June 23 and underwent open-heart surgery the next day. He was listed in critical condition after another procedure a few days later. He died on July 3 with “with his family and loved ones at his side” at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, according to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
University officials announced Thursday that Robichaux will be laid to rest Monday, July 8. They added visitation will be held Sunday, July 7 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette. The rosary will be prayed at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Monday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette. The funeral mass will follow the visitation. Robichaux will be laid to rest in Crowley. According to the university, Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home of Crowley is handling the arrangements.
Robichaux had coached the UL Ragin’ Cajuns’ baseball team for over 20 years and was the winningest coach in program history. He became coach of the Cajuns in 1995 and had 1,177 NCAA career victories.
Dr. Joseph Savoie, the president of the university, issued a statement hours after Robichaux’s death.
“It is difficult to imagine this University, or this community, without coach Tony Robichaux. For players and fans alike, he was Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball, a transformative, iconic figure who strengthened and nurtured the program for a quarter century. Coach Robichaux recorded more than 900 victories during his tenure here, but his life and influence cannot, and should not, be measured in wins and losses alone. Rather, his legacy rests in the lessons he taught student-athletes about their lives beyond the diamond. He urged them to be magnanimous in victory, reflective in defeat, and to exemplify integrity and determination in all they did. Because he lived these principles, he was more than a coach. He was a lodestar, a light that guides travelers toward a destination. That’s how Tony Robichaux will be remembered by everyone who admired him and by the University he represented so well. Gail and I join the University community in extending our condolences and prayers to Colleen, Ashley, Justin, Austin and the entire Robichaux family.”
The UL Ragin’ Cajuns athletic department issued a statement on Robichaux’s impact on countless student athletes.
“Coach Robichaux, the winningest head coach in Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball history, leaves behind a legacy of servant leadership, compassion and faith that extends beyond the baseball diamond and into the lives of the thousands of student-athletes and staff he impacted in his 25 seasons leading the program.”
LSU head coach Paul Mainieri posted thoughts via social media about Robichaux’s passing.
“We are heartbroken by the news that Tony Robichaux has passed away, and we offer our sincere condolences to Tony’s family, friends and the entire Ragin’ Cajun community. Tony was an outstanding coach, but he was an even greater molder of young men, and the positive impact he made upon his players is immeasurable. Tony and I shared a mutual respect that was reflected in the way our teams competed against one another over the years, and I will always cherish those matchups between the Cajuns and the Tigers. Tony lived a life of profound significance, and he will be missed by all of us."
The Southern baseball team tweeted the following:
“We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Tony Robichaux. One of the finest. Our thoughts and prayers are with Louisiana athletics and the Robichaux family.”
WAFB sportscaster Jacques Doucet also took to Twitter to express feelings about the coach.
“Stunned and numb over Tony Robichaux’s passing. After this year’s Wally Pontiff Classic, we ran over and interviewed him. I’m glad we did. Who would’ve ever known? A CWS, four Super Regionals, 12 NCAA Tournaments and 29 All-Americans coached. Thank you, Coach. Very sad day.”
Robichaux was an alumnus of McNeese State.