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Louisiana-Lafayette baseball coach Robichaux dead at 57

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Louisiana-Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux, who earned nearly 1,200 career wins and led the Ragin’ Cajuns to the College World Series in 2000, died on Wednesday. He was 57.

Louisiana-Lafayette athletic department spokesman Patrick Crawford said family members notified school officials that Robichaux died Wednesday at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.

Robichaux had been in the hospital after suffering a heart attack on June 23. He had surgery that night at Lafayette General Hospital, then went to Ochsner last week and had another surgery on Sunday.

“A man of deep, unwavering faith, integrity and moral character, Tony Robichaux stood for so much more than the game he coached,” Louisiana-Lafayette director of athletics Bryan Maggard said in a statement. “I will forever be grateful for how he prioritized the development of his student-athletes as outstanding young men first, and baseball players second. Our community will forever benefit from his teachings, philosophies and leadership.”

Robichaux posted a 1,177-767 record in 33 seasons as a head coach. He went 914-590 over the last 25 years at Louisiana-Lafayette after coaching at McNeese State from 1987-94. He owns the record for career wins at both Louisiana-Lafayette and McNeese State.

He led Louisiana-Lafayette to 12 NCAA regional appearances and four super regionals. Louisiana-Lafayette’s 2000 team received the only CWS berth in school history.

Robichaux’s 2014 team earned the school’s first No. 1 ranking and went 58-10 while setting a school record for wins. It lost to Ole Miss in a three-game super regional series.

Six of Robichaux’s former assistant coaches have gone on to become head coaches at Division I programs. He also had 58 players selected in the Major League Baseball draft, and 29 players selected as All-Americans.

“Coach Robe was my boss but became so much more than that: mentor, friend, confidant, big brother. He and (wife) Colleen became like family when we needed it most,” Matt Deggs, a former ULL assistant who is now the head coach at Sam Houston State, told the Lafayette Daily Advertiser. “Coach Robe is the finest Christian leader of men that I have ever been blessed to work with. I learned too many life lessons from Coach Robe to even begin to list them. Great man!”