LAFAYETTE – The winningest coach in Louisiana collegiate baseball history earned another honor when legendary Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Baseball coach Tony Robichaux was posthumously selected to 2022 induction class of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the organization announced on Wednesday.
The Class of 2022 will be enshrined Saturday, June 25, at the Hall of Fame’s home in Natchitoches to culminate the 63rd Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration June 23-25.
Joining Robichaux in Class of 2022 include a pair of six-time Pro Bowl NFL linemen, New Orleans Saints’ offensive guard Jahri Evans and Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams, two of the greatest women athletes in LSU history, three-time national champion gymnast Susan Jackson and two-time first-team All-America softball pitcher Britni Sneed Newman. Williams, who helped the Tigers’ football team win the 2003 national championship, is joined by another of LSU’s all-time great linemen, the late Eric Andolsek, and pro rodeo great Steve Duhon among the 2022 inductees.
Baton Rouge-Episcopal High School track and field/cross country coach Claney Duplechin enters the Hall next summer still active, with his boys cross country team aiming for its 26th consecutive state championship this fall among an astounding 63 LHSAA crowns EHS has claimed in his career. Rounding out the Class of 2022 is the late Dr. Eddie Flynn, who as a Loyola-New Orleans student won the 1932 Olympic welterweight boxing gold medal for the USA, the last gold medal for an American boxer for 20 years.
A 40-member Louisiana Sports Writers Association committee selected the 2022 inductees. The panel considered 139 nominees from 26 different sport categories on a 33-page ballot.
Also to be spotlighted next summer will be three other Hall of Fame inductees, the winner of the 2022 Dave Dixon Louisiana Sports Leadership Award, and two recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism presented by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, the parent organization of the Hall of Fame. Those inductees from contributor ballots will be announced later this year.
The complete 12-person Class of 2022 will swell the overall membership in the Hall of Fame to 468 men and women honored since its founding in 1958.
Robichaux, who will be enshrined in the University of Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame next month, won 1,177 games in a 33-year coaching career that was cut short by his untimely death in 2019 at age 57. At the time, he was the seventh-winningest active coach in the NCAA (1,177-767-2) and still ranks 28th among Division I coaches all-time.
Serving as his own pitching coach throughout his career, Robichaux coached his entire career in the state of Louisiana, beginning at McNeese State (1988-94) before moving to Louisiana (1995-2019). He had 86 players, including 67 during his tenure at Louisiana, selected in the Major League Draft and is the only coach in NCAA history to rank as the all-time winningest coach at two different Division I schools in the same state.
Robichaux won 914 games in his career with the Ragin’ Cajuns and led Louisiana to 12 NCAA regional appearances, four Super regional appearances and the 2000 College World Series. His 2014 team went 58-10 and was ranked No. 1 nationally in the final weeks of the season and was part of a legacy that produced seven Sun Belt Conference regular-season titles and four Sun Belt tournament titles.
He coached 29 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans, 90 All-Sun Belt players, 55 All-Louisiana players, six Sun Belt Pitchers of the Year and three Louisiana Pitchers of the Year. A four-time Sun Belt Coach of the Year honoree, Robichaux was named Louisiana Coach of the Year six times and South Central Region Coach of the Year four times.
Robichaux is a member of the McNeese Athletics Hall of Fame (2017) and was a 2021 inductee into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame.
The 2022 Induction Class will be showcased in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, operated by the Louisiana State Museum system in a partnership with the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. The striking two-story, 27,500-square foot structure faces Cane River Lake in the National Historic Landmark District of Natchitoches and has garnered worldwide architectural acclaim and rave reviews for its contents since its grand opening during the 2013 Hall of Fame induction weekend.
The nine new competitive ballot inductees will raise the total of Hall of Fame members to 367 competitors honored since the first induction class -- baseball’s Mel Ott, world champion boxer Tony Canzoneri and LSU football great Gaynell Tinsley -- were enshrined in 1959 after their election a year earlier.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame includes 26 Pro Football Hall of Fame members, 18 Olympic medalists including 11 gold medal winners, 12 members of the Basketball Hall of Fame, seven of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, seven National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 41 College Football Hall of Fame members, 15 Black College Football Hall of Fame inductees, nine National High School Hall of Fame enshrinees, jockeys with a combined 16 Triple Crown victories, six world boxing champions, seven Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame members, seven College Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, 10 College Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinees, four NBA Finals MVPs, four winners of major professional golf championships, five National Museum of (Thoroughbred) Racing and Hall of Fame inductees and two Super Bowl MVPs.
Biographical information on all 456 current Hall of Fame members is available at the LaSportsHall.com [lasportshall.com] website, with a steady stream of info available at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Facebook page and the @LaSportsHall Twitter account.
The 2022 Induction Celebration will kick off Thursday, June 23, with a press conference and reception. The three-day festivities include two receptions, a free youth sports clinic, a bowling party, and a Friday night riverbank concert in Natchitoches. Tickets for the Induction Ceremony, along with congratulatory advertising and sponsorship opportunities, are available now through the LaSportsHall.com [lasportshall.com] website.
Anyone can receive quarterly e-mails about the 2022 Induction Celebration and other Hall of Fame news by signing up on the LaSportsHall.com website.
The 2022 Induction Celebration will be hosted by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, the support organization for the Hall of Fame. The LSHOF Foundation was established as a 501 c 3 non-profit entity in 1975 and is governed by a statewide board of directors. For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Foundation President/CEO Ronnie Rantz at 225-802-6040 or RonnieRantz@LaSportsHall.com. Standard and customized sponsorships are available.
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