'He was old school': More than 1,200 remember UL coach Tony Robichaux at service

Glenn Guilbeau
The Daily Advertiser

LAFAYETTE — They came dressed formally in dark suits and dresses, but also in vermillion shades of red, blue jeans and even medical scrubs.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux would have liked the cross section of Cajuns and the like who attended his funeral Monday.

"He was old school," said sports writer Glenn Quebedeaux, who wore a suit. "He wanted the players who drink out of the water hose."

Funeral services for Cajuns Head Coach Tony Robichaux at Fatima Catholic Church.  Monday, July 8, 2019.

Robichaux, who was the Ragin' Cajuns' baseball coach for the last 25 years, was buried Monday afternoon at Woodlawn Cemetery in his hometown of Crowley after a visitation and a funeral Mass in front of more than 1,200 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church here. He passed away last Wednesday at age 57 after multiple heart surgeries.

On Sunday night, thousands packed the Cajundome Convention Center for visitation, a rosary and eulogies.

MORE: Associate head coach Anthony Babineaux worked for Robichaux for 25 years

"This is a great testimony to the legacy of this great man," Father Bryce Sibley said as he looked out into the crowd as Mass began Monday at 2 p.m.

Throngs of former Cajun players paid their respects, including Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy, an All-Sun Belt Conference catcher in 2005 and '07 who was carried off the field Sunday after being brutally run over by Astros outfielder Jake Marisnick in an 11-10 loss in 10 innings at Houston.

Lucroy, who was hospitalized Sunday and treated for a concussion and broken nose, appeared fine Monday as he walked to and from his seat in the church. He was one of several former players who was an honorary pallbearer.

Among the former UL players in attendance were Wyatt Marks, Gunner Leger, Nick Thurman, Daniel Lahare and Seth Harrison. All present UL baseball assistant coaches were there.

UL football coach Billy Napier, basketball coach Bob Marlin, and women's basketball coach Garry Brodhead attended along with former softball coaches Yvette Girouard and Michael Lotief and former athletic director Scott Farmer.

Former UL baseball assistant coach Matt Deggs, who is now the head coach at Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas, also attended.

Present UL athletic director Bryan Maggard and current president Joseph Savoie also attended.

MORE: Former combatants remember Robichaux as a fierce competitor

Former LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman and present LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri were on hand.

Former South Alabama baseball coach Steve Kittrell and his wife Carol attended the visitation on Sunday.

Robichaux had planned to continue coaching UL baseball for several more years at least, friends said.

"In baseball, a short game can be just as complete as one that lasts for eight hours," Father Sibley said during the homily. "We wish Tony's could have been longer. In baseball, every journey is a journey to home plate. Tony is home."