Proven pitching coach, with high-level success in Pac-12, added to Louisiana Softball staff
LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns Softball head coach Gerry Glasco announced the hiring of Mike Roberts, formerly the pitching coach at Washington and Oregon, as the program's associate head coach.
Roberts comes to Louisiana from Buffalo where he spent the 2018 season as head coach. Prior to joining the Bulls, he was instrumental in the development of All-American pitchers Taran Alvelo (Washington) and Cheridan Hawkins (Oregon).
"We are thrilled to have Mike (Roberts) join our program," Glasco said. "He is a coach with not only College World Series experience, but has also pitched throughout the world at the highest levels himself, and understands pitching at the most elite levels.
"He is a family man and an individual whose family loves the game of softball," Glasco added. "He and his wife Therese will fit well into the community. They have a great appreciation for our fans' passion and commitment to our program."
Roberts spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons at Washington, guiding the pitching staff to a pair of 40-plus win seasons. In his final campaign, the Huskies pitching staff lowered their ERA from 3.24 to 2.38, which ranked fourth in the PAC-12, and yield just 29 runs across 10 games in the NCAA Tournament as the squad advanced to the Women's College World Series semifinals for the first time since 2013.
Alvelo was able to put together a spectacular campaign under Roberts' watchful eye in 2017, earning first team All-Pac-12 honors after producing a 35-9 record with a 2.07 ERA, 200 strikeouts and eight shutouts.
Roberts also enjoyed Pac-12 success at Oregon, serving as pitching coach in 2014. He helped the Ducks to a 56-9-1 overall record, a 20-3-1 Pac-12 mark and the conference title.
Under Roberts' leadership the Ducks led the Pac-12 with a 1.82 ERA while Oregon pitchers held the Nos. 2 and 3 spots in the individual rankings. Under his tutelage, Hawkins collected 35 victories and 330 strikeouts and was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year.
Before joining the staff at Oregon, Roberts spent three seasons coaching the pitchers and catchers at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
"Not only will Mike have a huge impact on our pitchers, but he will also impact our offense because of his unique ability to throw batting practice at an extremely high level and his ability to mimic opposing pitchers," Glasco explained. "He is a huge addition for our program as one of the common denominators of recent WCWS championship teams is a great and proven pitching coach."
An accomplished pitcher in his own right, the Auckland, New Zealand native won two ASA national titles, an ISF Junior World Title, eight New Zealand national championships, an NAFA Triple-A North American crown and an Australian state title. Roberts twice earned ASA and NAFA All-America honors and won numerous U.S. and New Zealand MVP awards.
Roberts has served as the assistant pitching and catching coach for the New Zealand women's National softball team since 2016. His son, Mitch, is an assistant coach at Ball State.
His hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
The Ragin' Cajuns (41-16, 21-6 Sun Belt) completed their first season under Gerry Glasco's guidance in 2018, earning the program's 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament bid and advancing to the championship game of the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
Louisiana reached 40 wins for the 20th straight season and was ranked in both major national Top 25 polls the entire season, finishing No. 18/19 in the final edition of the rankings.
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