LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — 2021 was arguably one of the most successful years for Ragin Cajuns Athletics, with four championships brought back to Lafayette.
First up, the UL Women’s basketball team finished the year at 16-8, winning the program’s first ever regular season Sun Belt title.
“To come away with a victory and a conference championship for the first time in 50 years, it’s big for our University and our program,” head coach Garry Brodhead said.
Garry Brodhead’s team made it to the WNIT for the first time in program history.
Bob Marlin’s squad made it to the Sun Belt tournament semifinals, and ended their season with a 17-9 record.
In May, the San Francisco 49ers selected former UL running back Elijah Mitchell in the 2021 NFL Draft. Mitchell was the third Cajuns running back taken over the last five NFL Drafts, joining Raymond Calais and Elijah McGuire.
Softball season brought another championship, as the Ragin’ Cajuns went 47-12 with the second consecutive conference tournament championship under head coach Gerry Glasco.
“I think they were just having fun,” Glasco says. “Relaxing and going up there and getting their hacks. The talent has always been there. To see them put it all together like that it was really fun.”
UL ended their season in the Baton Rouge regional.
Baseball head coach Matt Deggs embarked on his first full season leading the Cajuns. The squad earned a 32-23 record, advancing to the Sun Belt tournament semifinals.
Three players were selected in the 2021 MLB draft: Spencer Arrighetti, Connor Cooke, and Drake Osborn.
Former UL Track and Field star Morgann Leleux Romero represented the United States when she competed in the pole vault competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
“It is insane,” Leleux says. “The love and support I’m getting from my hometown, I’m just blown away.”
Leleux advanced to the finals, but suffered a partially torn achilles while there and missed on her opening mark in three attempts at 14-9.
The New Iberia native was the fifth Olympian in program history.
The Kristi Gray era began for UL volleyball, and instant success followed.
Louisiana boasted a clean sweep of the first round of conference division play, including UL’s first-ever win over Texas State on the road.
The Cajuns ended the season 15-11.
In December of 2021, UL football hoisted the program’s first ever outright Sun Belt championship trophy.
The win came over App State at Cajun Field in front of a record-breaking SBC title game crowd.
It was the last game Billy Napier coached the Cajuns in, before taking the head coaching job at Florida.
“You know we’ve been chasing this thing down for a long time, and I think home field advantage was a big part of it right,” Napier says. “Certainly it was a difference tonight.”
The next leader of the program was a familiar name to UL fans, former quarterback Michael Desormeaux.
He described himself as a Ragin’ Cajun through and through, and UL Athletics Director Dr. Bryan Maggard said the New Iberia native was a true son of Louisiana.
“To say I’m excited about this opportunity would be an understatement,” Desormeaux says. “What I’m most excited about is the opportunity to extend continue this mission, the mission that we started to elevate and advance the program to even more success.”
In his first game as head coach, Desormeaux led Louisiana to a 36-21 win over Marshall in the New Orleans bowl.
“We’re just setting the bar high knowing that what we’re doing here, what we’ve done it can be accomplished,” senior quarterback Levi Lewis says.
The year started and ended with the Ragin’ Cajuns winning championships.