2021 Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame Class announced

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Tony Robichaux

Four-person class to be honored Oct. 29-30 during Homecoming Weekend

LAFAYETTE – Highlighted by the late Tony Robichaux, the winningest baseball coach in Louisiana collegiate history, the Board of Directors of the Ragin’ Cajuns Letterman Club announced its 2021 Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame Class on Monday.

Joining Robichaux in the four-person class are a pair of former baseball players – Phil Devey and Paul Bako – along with softball All-American Ashley Brignac Domec.

The 2021 class will be inducted into the Louisiana Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 29 and will be recognized during halftime of the 2021 Homecoming football game against Texas State on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Cajun Field.

Robichaux 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 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.

A two-time All-Sun Belt Conference pitcher and a 1999 All-American, Devey earned a spot as a walk-on in 1997 and would eventually finish his career as the Ragin’ Cajuns all-time leader in victories (24), innings pitched (314.0) and strikeouts (352).

The Lachute, Quebec native won 24 games on the mound in his three-year career, including a combined 21 victories during the 1998 and 1999 seasons where he helped Louisiana to a pair of NCAA regional appearances and the 1999 NCAA Super Regional.

The southpaw led Louisiana in strikeouts his final two seasons, including a school-record 165 batters in 1999. His first career victory as a Ragin’ Cajun came in 1997 against No. 1-ranked LSU. Devey was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round of the 1999 MLB Draft.

Devey pitched for Team Canada in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and helping his team to a fourth-place finish. Devey spearheaded the effort to help raise nearly $200,000 from former players to erect a statue and surrounding structures in honor of his head coach – fellow inductee Tony Robichaux – prior to the 2020 season.

A Lafayette native, Bako played three seasons at Louisiana and helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to a pair of conference titles. He was the starting catcher on Louisiana’s 1991 American South Conference team and helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 49-20 record.

Bako was the catcher on UL’s 1992 Sun Belt Conference championship squad where the pitching staff posted a 3.50 earned run average to rank 29th among Division I programs. He was named All-Sun Belt Conference his junior season in 1993 and was selected in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1993 MLB Draft.

The epitome of the baseball “journeyman,” Bako played for 11 different major league teams in a 12-year career, first reaching the major leagues in 1998 with the Detroit Tigers before playing for Houston (1999-2000), Florida (2000), Atlanta (2000-01), Milwaukee (2002), Chicago Cubs (2003-04), Los Angeles Dodgers (2005), Kansas City (2006), Baltimore (2007), Cincinnati (2008) and Philadelphia (2009). He played for a pair of teams (Atlanta and Chicago) that made a combined three playoff appearances and reached the NLCS (Atlanta-2001; Florida-2003).

Ashley Brignac

A four-year letterwinner and three-time NFCA All-Region selection, Brignac was a three-time All-Sun Belt Conference selection and a two-time Academic All-American. Brignac was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Pitcher of the Year three times (2008, 2011, 2012) and was the Louisiana Pitcher of the Year in 2011.

During her career, the John curtis Christian product was a part of a team that made four NCAA regional appearances, two NCAA Super Regional berths and the 2008 Women’s College World Series.

As a freshman, she led Louisiana to a win over No. 1-ranked Florida in the opening game in the College World Series while posting a 31-7 record in the circle. She recorded seven wins and a save against ranked opponents during the 2008 season and fanned 327 batters in 44 appearances.

Her career seven no-hitters rank third in school history, and she finished her career ranked in the top five in games pitched (133), games started (116), victories (94), shutouts (35), innings pitched (721.0), strikeouts (862) and strikeouts per seven innings (8.37).

The University’s Hall of Fame recognizes men and women who distinguished themselves as student-athletes and have made significant contributions to their professions and their communities. They are nominated and selected through a process that is overseen by the board of directors of the Ragin’ Cajuns Lettermen Club, an organization of former student-athletes who have lettered in their sport.

In 2015, new eligibility criteria for the Hall of Fame were adopted to allow the nomination of coaches and administrators, as well as alumni whose collegiate careers were shortened by the chance to pursue professional sports.

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