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Ms. Yvette Marie Girouard
4464 Highland Rd #606
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808
|Played Volleyball and was Player Coach in Junior year. Was Lady Cajun Softball Coach for 20 years - from 1981 - 2000. Retired as the LSU Head Softball Coach as the end of the 2011 season.
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Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame: Girouard started softball rolling in Louisiana
John Marcase, The Advertiser, June 30, 2015
Girouard, shown here speaking Thursday during a press conference at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Museum, helped to pave the way for the rise of college softball in Louisiana and across the South.(Photo: Paul Kieu/The Advertiser)
In Yvette Girouard’s first season as a college softball coach at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1981, she had to drive around Lafayette to find a place to play her home games.
“We played at five different city parks,” she said Friday morning before teeing off in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament at OakWing Golf Club. “We didn’t have the budget for scholarships, much less a field. We would eventually build one (Lady Cajun Park), but we made do with what we had that first year.”
From those meager beginnings this trailblazing softball pioneer planted the seeds for a sport that would quickly sprout and spread throughout the state of Louisiana.
By the time Girouard retired following the 2011 season, her LSU teams played in a $13 million, state-of-the-art facility she helped to design.
USL, now known as UL, also plays its games in a multi-million dollar facility she not only designed but literally built from the ground up.
“My players borrowed my dad’s truck and stole sand from somewhere,” Girouard said. “We then all got out there, spread the sand around and made a field. It wasn’t much but it was a start. It was home.”
The personable Girouard quickly built a rabid fan base who in turned helped her add to those piles of sand with covered stands, press box, fences and dugouts. The softball complex has evolved over the year and now features, among other things, air-conditioned skyboxes.
Yes, the sport of softball has come a long way since Girouard coached the Lady Cajuns to a 7-15 record in 1981.
So has the self-proclaimed “little girl from Broussard.”
She never experienced another losing season again after 1981, compiling 1,285 victories, five Women’s College World Series appearances and turning both UL and LSU into perennial top-10 programs.
Saturday night, she was one of eight new members inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. Fittingly, she is the first college softball coach enshrined.
By the time Girouard got UL’s program rolling, LSU had disbanded its program.
Girouard and the Lady Cajuns were to softball in Louisiana what Sonya Hogg, Leon Barmore and the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters were to women’s college basketball in this state — pioneers.
The Lady Cajuns would win 759 games and appear in three WCWS under Girouard.
After the 2000 season, she made the difficult decision to move across the Atchafalaya Basin to LSU.
LSU had brought back softball in 1997 when the SEC began sponsoring it as a way to comply with federal Title IX regulations.
The Lady Tigers’ program had success first under Kathy Compton and then former Northwestern State football player Glenn Moore. Compton, however, was forced to leave the program just prior to the start of the postseason in her second season. Moore took over and kept winning, but eventually bolted for Baylor.
That opened the door for Girouard.
“It was a hard, hard decision. I cried for a week,” said Girouard, who sported a Vermilion red golf shirt to represent UL and a white LSU visor at the golf event. “But thinking back on it, I made the right decision at the right time. I got to not only coach at my alma mater but also the state’s flagship university.”
In her first season in 2001, she led the Lady Tigers to their first WCWS. They would go again in 2004.
Since she retired, Beth Torina has led LSU to two more WCWS appearances, including this past season in which the program earned its first No. 1 ranking.
Meanwhile, the UL program has continued humming along without a misfire. The Lady Cajuns have been back to the WCWS three more times, including the 2014 season.
“My motto is to leave it better than I found it, Girouard said. “I hope I did that.”
Even more, softball is flourishing at colleges and universities throughout the state.
“The future is unlimited,” said Girouard. “Everybody loves the game.”
The ratings prove that. The Women’s College World Series championship series outdrew the College World Series championship series. Softball averaged 1.8 million viewers while baseball averaged 1.4 million.
“Title IX got this going, and now little girls don’t know what it is,” said Girouard. “They can find (female) role models to look up to.
“Mine was Mickey Mantle, which shows you how old I am!”
Little girls could do worse than to look up to Girouard.
John Marcase is a former assistant managing editor and sports editor of The Town Talk. He writes a weekly column.
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Former Volleyball Player & Softball Coach: LSU's Girouard announces retirement after season
Daily Advertiser, March 5, 2011
BATON ROUGE â€” LSU softball coach Yvette Girouard has announced her retirement from coaching Friday effective at the end of the 2011 season.
"Yvette Girouard is a genuine legend in the sport of softball, and she will be dearly missed by LSU after this year," said Joe Alleva, LSU vice chancellor and director of athletics. "She has been a teacher, a mentor, a leader and a role model for hundreds of young women during her career. She is the kind of coach that makes a university proud and, while we regret that she has chosen to retire, we celebrate her many years of accomplishments and thank her for a job well done."
"It's been an unbelievable career, one I could never dream of," LSU coach Yvette Girouard said. "There comes a time during every coach's career when it's time to walk away from the game. It's been a joy to come to work every day, and be a part of the LSU family. My last 11 seasons as a Tiger has been heaven after having been given the opportunity to spend 20 glorious years at my alma mater Louisiana-Lafayette.
"The career of Yvette Girouard isn't about me. It's about the players, coaches, parents and families that I've been blessed to come in contact with. I want to thank my family which has been with me every step of the way. I'm proud to leave LSU with a Taj Mahal type softball facility, phenomenal fans and look forward to a future with many more championships to be won."
A pioneer of the game and one of the greatest coaches in softball history, the 2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame inductee has racked up 1,257 victories to rank second all-time in NCAA history.
With 29-consecutive winning seasons under her belt, Girouard's teams have won nine conference championships, garnered 10 national Top 10 finishes, earned 19 NCAA Regional appearances and are no strangers to Oklahoma City. She is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to steer two programs to the Women's College World Series.
Girouard's effect on LSU has been powerful taking the Tigers to the 2001 and 2004 WCWS. Sparked by SEC Player of the Year, NCAA Regional MVP and three-time All-American Britni Sneed, Girouard's first season with the Tigers ended in storybook fashion.
LSU racked up 59 victories en route to the program's first clean sweep of the SEC's three major league titles (SEC Western Division, SEC Regular Season Championship and SEC Tournament Championship).
The 2004 Tigers took it to the next level and turned in its third SEC titles sweep in four seasons. LSU rolled through NCAA Regional play defeating Illinois to return to the WCWS and came within seven outs of the national championship game.
After going 1-1 to start the WCWS, weather postponed play for a day and forced LSU into the unenviable situation of having to win three games in a single day to advance to the national championship game. The Tigers defeated Florida State and Cal to force the "if necessary" game.
Unfortunately, LSU couldn't get past California a second time. For her efforts, All-American Kristin Schmidt was named the WCWS Most Outstanding Player, becoming the first player to earn the honor who was not a member of the national championship team.
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Girouard shares SEC Coach of the Year honors
LSU Tigers head coach Yvette Girouard was named the Southeastern Conference Co-Head Coach of the Year, while the program also had three players receive All-SEC honors.
This marks the third time in six years that Girouard has earned Coach of the Year honors in the SEC, sharing the award with Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy this season. It's also the seventh conference Coach of the Year award for Girouard, who also earned the honor in the American South and Sun Belt conferences.
The Tigers, who are a sixth-seed in the SEC Tournament, had pitcher Emily Turner and center fielder Leslie Klein both earn first team honors, while pitcher Dani Hofer was named to the conference All-Freshman team.
Girouard inducted into Hall
ORLANDO, Fla. - Yvette Girouard, who founded the University of Louisiana's softball program and led the squad to national prominence in a 20-year career at the school, will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame tonight at a 7 p.m. banquet here.
The banquet will be held in conjunction with the NFCA's annual convention, which began Wednesday and concludes Saturday at the Caribe Royal Resort. In addition to Girouard, the 2005 induction class includes former Notre Dame head coach Liz Miller and Kennesaw State head coach Scott Whitlock.
A native of Broussard and a graduate of both Comeaux High and then-USL, Girouard has coached the LSU softball team over the last five seasons and has brought the Lady Tigers the same national success that became her hallmark in two decades with the Cajuns.
Last season, Girouard became only the fifth head coach in NCAA Division I softball history and the sixth coach in NCAA history at any division to win 1,000 career games. She joined Fresno State head coach Margie Wright, Florida State head coach JoAnne Graf, Iowa head coach Gayle Blevins and Arizona head coach Mike Candrea as the only coaches in Division I history to reach 1,000.
Entering her 26th season as a head coach, she ranks as the fifth winningest coach in NCAA Division I history by percentage, posting a 1,012-325 record for a .757 career winning percentage. In addition, she ranks as the 13th winningest coach in NCAA history, regardless of division.
With 24 straight winning seasons to her credit, she has coached 35 All-Americans, 14 Academic All-Americans and taken her teams to 14 NCAA Regionals.
She guided LSU to a pair of Women's College World Series appearances in her first four seasons, becoming just the third coach in NCAA history to take two programs to the WCWS after leading USL to three World Series appearances in the 1990s.
A three-time National Coach of the Year, Girouard has spent 25 seasons as a collegiate head coach after beginning her coaching career at Lafayette High and Comeaux. She was named USL's first softball coach in 1980 and began the program in the 1981 season.
Her 2004 LSU team advanced to the national semifinals and finished the year ranked third, the Tigers' highest-ever ranking. LSU also finished third in the 2001 WCWS, after Girouard led the Cajuns to a third-place WCWS finish in 1993 and two fifth-place finishes.
With a .815 winning percentage in the 1990s, her Cajun teams posted the third-best winning percentage in the nation behind only Arizona and UCLA. In four seasons at LSU, she has posted the second most wins in the nation over that period, behind only Arizona, and the fourth-best winning percentage.
She was named 1990 and 1993 National Coach of the Year and was the head coach of the 2001 National Coaching Staff of the Year. Girouard is a seven-time South Region Coach of the Year and led her programs to nine top-10 national finishes.
In addition, the 11-time Louisiana Coach of the Year has been named coach of the year by three separate conferences: The Southeastern in 2000 and 2002, the Sun Belt in 2000 and the Southland in 1984, 1985 and 1987. In 2002, she was inducted into the Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Originally published December 2, 2005
THE YVETTE GIROUARD FILE
High School: Comeaux High
College: B.S., USL '76, named school's Female Athlete of the Year after standout volleyball career
Coaching Career: Head coach, Lafayette High (1977-80); head coach, Comeaux High (1980); head coach, USL/UL (1981-2000); head coach, LSU (2001-present)
Collegiate Coaching Record: 1,012-325, one of five coaches in Division I history to reach 1,000 wins (759-250 at USL/UL, 253-75 at LSU)
Honors: National Coach of the Year, 1990 and 1993; National Coaching Staff of the Year, 2001; Seven-time NFCA South Region Coach of the Year; Southland Conference Coach of the Year, 1984, 1985, 1987; Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, 2000; Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, 2001, 2001; 11-time Louisiana Coach of the Year; Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, 2002.
1,000 and counting for Girouard
April 08, 2005 -
BATON ROUGE - LSU head softball coach Yvette Girouard won her 1,000th career game Wednesday night, but it took a split for her to reach that mark.
The Tigers split a SEC doubleheader against Arkansas late Wednesday night, falling 5-3 in the first game before winning the second game 8-3 at Lady Tiger Park to put Girouard at the 1,000-victory mark.
With the split, LSU moved to 19-14 on the season and 3-11 in SEC play, while the Lady Razorbacks went to 14-29 overall and 1-15 in SEC league play.
Girouard became only the fifth head coach in NCAA Division I softball history and the sixth coach in NCAA history at any division to win 1,000 career games.
She joins Fresno State head coach Margie Wright, Florida State head coach JoAnne Graf, Iowa head coach Gayle Blevins and Arizona head coach Mike Candrea as the only coaches in Division I history to reach the millennium mark.
"This means you have filled out a lot of lineup cards," Girouard said of reaching the milestone. "Obviously no one does this by themselves. It takes coaches, it takes players, it takes parents, it takes the administration and it takes someone giving me this job and sticking with us for 25 years, everything comes into play."
Girouard won a total of 759 games in a 20-year career at the University of Louisiana from 1981-2000, before taking the LSU position in time for the 2001 spring season.
The two-time National coach of the Year and seven-time Regional Coach of the Year will be inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame this summer in Orlando, Fla.
In her 25th season as a head coach, she also ranks as the fifth winningest coach in NCAA Division I history by percentage, posting a 1000-316 record for a .760 career winning percentage.
One of only three head coach to guide two programs to the Women's College World Series, Girouard has led her teams to five WCWS appearances, including two in her first four years at LSU.
With 14 NCAA Regional appearances, she has posted 23 consecutive winning seasons while guiding players to 35 All-America honors.
"This hasn't really been a focus for us," said Girouard. "My mom is here and my niece is here. Several of my original ballplayers are here. One player in particular is here (former Cajun player Ursula Quoyeser) that I coached in high school and college that convinced me to take the college job. It makes this very special.
"All I ever wanted to be was a high school coach. The high school player that I coached and my mom convinced me to take the USL job. I didn't really think that was what I wanted to do but it just kind of happened, my career happened."
Originally published April 8, 2005
LSU softball staff earns South Region honor
July 9, 2004
BATON ROUGE ï¿½ After leading LSU to within one game of the Womenï¿½s College World Series championship game, coach Yvette Girouard, associate coach James DeFeo and assistant coach Lori Osterberg have been selected as the 2004 Speedline/NFCA Division I South Region Coaching Staff of the Year.
In her fourth season with the Tigers, Girouard and her staff guided LSU to a 57-12 overall record and its second WCWS appearance in four years. The Tigers swept the Southeastern Conference titles, winning the Western Division, regular season and tournament championships for the third time in four years.
LSU went undefeated in NCAA Region 3 in Waco, Texas, to advance to the WCWS.
The Tigers then became the first school east of the Mississippi River to come within one game of the national championship game since 1984. LSU finished the season ranked third in the nation, its highest outright ranking in school history.
ï¿½It was an unbelievable season for LSU softball this year,ï¿½ Girouard said. ï¿½This is always a fulfilling award because it is voted on by our peers. I definitely think I work with the best coaching staff in the country and the three of us will continue to reach for bigger goals.ï¿½
This is the seventh time Girouard has been selected as part of the South Region Coaching Staff of the Year. She previously won the honor at LSU in 2001, when she, DeFeo and Osterberg were also named the National Coaching Staff of the Year.
In addition, she was named the South Region Coach of the Year on five occasions while the head coach at UL-Lafayette.
Girouard's career record now stands at 981-302 (.765) over 24 years of coaching. She is poised to become just the fourth coach in NCAA Division I history to record 1,000 career wins next season.
The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
July 9, 2004
|Coaches:|| 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000|
|Volleyball:|| 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975|
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