LAFAYETTE — A statue of the late UL Baseball Head Coach Tony Robichaux will soon be erect outside of Russo Park. It will be there for fans to remember and observe his legacy for the rest of time.
For the players, it's a reminder of what this season is all about. But they'll not only be playing for "Coach Robe" but also for new Head Coach Matt Deggs. As an assistant under Robichaux from 2012-2014, his philosophy of nurturing the man before the baseball player is very similar to Coach Robe. His style is exactly what this program needed to move forward and transition into the future.
"I love Coach Deggs just as much as I love Coach Robe." Cajuns Senior Right-Handed Pitcher Caleb Armstrong said. "He's been a great influence in my life in a short amount of time. AS similar as they are with their coaching philosophies, they're a lot different in their own respective ways. It's great to get some variety. I wish we could have them both, I really do."
"You know, him being able to step in and lead us from day one. I feel like he deserves everything in the world," Junior Shortstop Hayden Cantrelle said. "Despite (Robe) passing over the summer, we're in great hands."
"Coach Deggs is one of the smartest baseball minds I've ever been around," Senior Outfielder Brennan Breaux said. "Brings the fire. Brings the intensity every day. He wants you to leave here a better person than you came here."
While the pressure may be high for UL Baseball to perform well in Robe's honor, no one can set the bar higher than what they want from themselves. This group is not shying away from goals of reaching the College World Series, and even potentially winning it all.
"It's not a matter of expecting to win one game. We expect to win the whole thing," Deggs said. "I will never in my life take part in anything unless I expect to win the entire thing."