Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball coach Matt Deggs officially announced on Wednesday the hiring of Church Point native and former Nicholls head coach Seth Thibodeaux as the program’s Associate Head Coach/Pitching Coach.
Thibodeaux, who spent 14 seasons at Nicholls including the past 11 as head coach, won 287 games during his tenure with the Colonels to finish third in school history behind Mike Knight and former Louisiana Baseball coach Ray E. Didier.
“We are very excited to have Seth, his wife Janelle and their family join our Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball family,” Deggs said. “As a native of Acadiana and someone who has spent a lot of time in the opposing dugout, he understands the history and tradition of the Ragin’ Cajuns program and what it takes to win here.
“He has strong recruiting ties in the region and his vast experience in all aspects of coaching will play a key role in the overall success our program. He is highly respected in the coaching circle and he got the most out of his teams while working with limited resources.”
During Thibodeaux's 11-year tenure, the Colonels advanced to the Southland Conference Tournament on four occasions, securing the No. 2-seed in 2014 and the third seed in 2015. Thibodeaux helped develop four All-SLC first-team selections and along with six Major League Baseball draftees, two Southland Pitchers of the Year (Taylor Byrd – 2014, Justin Sinibaldi – 2015), a Relief Pitcher of the Year (Stuart Holmes, 2015) and a Newcomer of the Year (Kyle Reese, 2015).
The long-time head coach revitalized the program behind back-to-back 30-plus win seasons in 2014 and 2015 – a first for Nicholls since the 1992-93 campaigns – as the Colonel pitching staffs consistently ranked as one of the nation's elite for ERA. During the 2014 season, Thibodeaux’s pitching staff produced a 2.61 team ERA during the season before notching a 2.47 team ERA the following season.
The upstart Colonels’ squad of the 2014 season, who just a year prior only managed single-digit wins in league play, propelled Thibodeaux to Southland Coach of the Year as Nicholls finished with a school-best 21-9 mark in SLC competition.
“His pitching staffs at Nicholls led the Southland Conference in earned run average for 30 consecutive weeks and he had 14 different pitchers log over 30 innings with a sub-3.00 ERA,” Deggs said. “His teams at Nicholls were very difficult to play and his experience as a head coach will give us an extra set of eyes as we continue to build our program.”
Before coming to Nicholls in 2008, Thibodeaux served two years as an assistant coach at SLCrival Southeastern Louisiana, helping put together two recruiting classes which received national recognition from Baseball America. In his final season in Hammond, Thibodeaux helped SLU to 34 wins, the most for the Lions in a decade and a school-record 16 wins in Southland competition.
Thibodeaux began his college coaching career at Pearl River Community College in 2003. In his second season at PRCC, Thibodeaux lifted the Wildcats to conference and state championship titles as well as a No. 2 national ranking in 2004. In 2005, Thibodeaux helped PRCC repeat as conference champs.
Thibodeaux played two seasons at LSU-Eunice in 2000 before transferring to William Carey College in Hattiesburg, Miss., where he finished his collegiate career and earned his degree in physical education. After graduation, Thibodeaux played one season of professional baseball for the Baton Rouge Riverbats of the independent South East Professional Baseball League.
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