Aug 1, 2014 11:49 PM by UL Sports Information
LAFAYETTE - With the most successful year for athletics in school history recently completed, the Ragin' Cajuns Athletics Foundation (RCAF) looks to continue the momentum with the expansion of the Board of Directors.
The previous seven-member board expanded to 24 and is now lead by an Executive Committee chaired by UL alum and Lafayette native Wayne Elmore.
Joining Elmore on the Executive Committee is past chairman John Bordelon, chairman-elect Robert Daigle, secretary/treasurer Charlie Moncla, and at-large representatives Ed Domingues, Marc Judice and Blaine Barrilleaux.
Named as members on the RCAF Board include: Ken Blanchard, Jake Delhomme, David Fontenot, Garett Gauthier, Bryan Hanks, Patrick Kane, Paul Patout, Don Wallace, Gerald Boudreaux, Nathan Granger, Chris Russo, Reggie Dupre, Tiffany Harris, Tommie Rogers, Byron Starks, Jerry Prejean and Ken Crouch.
Formed in 2009, the RCAF has played a key role in the success of the Ragin' Cajuns athletics program, by helping increase the annual budget, recruiting and retaining head coaches, providing support in capital projects in the Athletics Facilities Master Plan and increasing scholarship endowments for student-athletes.
"The expansion of the RCAF Board from seven to 24 was the next logical step in building a stronger athletic program," Director of Athletics Scott Farmer said. "In just over five years since the RCAF was formed, we have been able to establish a stable financial base with money raised through our Annual Fund. That has helped us improve facilities, attract top coaches and give our alums and members of our community what they've wished for ... a championship-caliber program that competes at the highest level of Division I athletics."
With the success of the athletics program in 2013-14 that saw five sports claim conference titles, continued facility upgrades through the Athletics Master Plan, and graduating its student-athletes at a 75-percent rate in the most recent Federal Graduation Rates Report - the highest rate among student-athletes in both the Sun Belt Conference and the state of Louisiana - the RCAF will continue to play a vital role as the external fundraising arm of Ragin' Cajuns athletics.
"Over the years, we've had a lot of great times and we've had some bad times, but never did I envision the University being where it is today athletically," Elmore said. "It's really exciting, and a privilege for me, to serve as the chairman of the RCAF. Not only is the RCAF partially responsible for the great success that we've had in athletics, but it is also responsible for a lot of people from the athletic administration, to the coaches and down to the individual sports programs."
During the 2013-14 year, fans flocked to Ragin' Cajuns home events, where Louisiana posted the Sun Belt Conference's highest average attendance marks in football, baseball and softball while ranking second overall in men's basketball.
The Ragin' Cajuns football team captured the Sun Belt Conference title and earned its third consecutive nine-win season after defeating Tulane in the 2013 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. The men's basketball team claimed the Sun Belt Conference tournament championship and made its first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 2006 while the Ragin' Cajuns baseball and softball teams claimed both the Sun Belt Conference regular-season and tournament championships, hosted NCAA Regionals and Super Regionals and earned top-10 finishes in the final national polls.
"There is nothing that sells tickets and raises money in athletics like winning," Elmore said. "And now that we're winning, we have to take this opportunity to continue to raise money to continue that tradition."
For more information, or to join the RCAF, visit http://rcaf.louisiana.edu or call (337) 482-5393 or (877) RCAF4UL.