While most Tiger fans don’t want to give the Lady Cajuns softball program any credit for LSU’s success – they have to recognize that the University of Louisiana program has now provided back-to-back LSU head coaches.
Former Cajun assistant coach Patrick Murphy has left Alabama to become the fifth head softball coach at LSU.
He replaces former USL head coach Yvette Girouard, who retired after 12 years at LSU and 20 before that in Lafayette,
"Yvette Girouard is a genuine legend in the sport of softball, " LSU vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva said earlier this year. "She has been a teacher, a mentor, a leader and a role model for hundreds of young women during her career.”
Girouard directed LSU teams twice to the Women's College World Series (2001, 2004) and is one of only three coaches to take two different programs.
Girouard reeled in her 100th win at LSU in just 119 games during the 2002 season, the fastest coach to reach 100 victories in school history. She reached 900 career wins in 2003.
Overall, she won nine conference championships and made 19 NCAA Regional appearances.
At the 2009 NCAA Regionals, Girouard secured her 1,200th career victory with a 10-2 rout of Arizona State and became only the third coach in NCAA history to reach that historic feat.
Over her career, Girouard was named coach of the year by three separate conferences: the SEC (2001 & 2002), the Sun Belt (2000) and the Southland (1984, 1985 & 1987.
Her UL-Lafayette squads were independent from 1988-1999, but that didn't stop Girouard from taking home NFCA National Coach of the Year honors in 1990 and 1993.
She also collected an unprecedented 14 Louisiana Coach of the Year awards, including this season.
The Cajuns totaled 10 NCAA Regional berths and tacked on three WCWS trips. With a .815 winning percentage, her teams posted the third-best winning percentage nationally in the 1990's behind only Arizona and UCLA.
So with Girouard’s retirement it seemed logical that her replacement would have Lady Cajun softball roots.
"We are very excited to bring Patrick to LSU to lead our softball program," Alleva said. "Patrick has done an outstanding job building Alabama into one of the nation's premier programs. When Yvette retired we lost a Hall of Fame coach. We feel like we are replacing Yvette with a future Hall of Famer."
Murphy led Alabama to a 712-210 record, seven Women’s College World Series and six SEC championships in 12 years at Alabama.
Alyson Habetz, a member of Murphy’s staff for 13 years, is also heading to LSU. Habetz, a native of Crowley, was a NFCA Third Team All-American and a member of the 1993 WCWS team at Louisiana-Lafayette during her playing days.
Murphy graduated from University of Northern Iowa with a B.S. in history education in 1988 and earned his master's degree in mass communication while serving as Girouard's top assistant in Lafayette.
So the Lady Cajun tradition lives on - wearing purple and gold.