HAMMOND, La. — After 42 wins and a regular season conference title in 2015, Southeastern baseball saw a steady decline in success to a 25-25 finish in May.

Days later, head coach Matt Riser was fired.

Athletics Director, Jay Artigues, called the decision to move on from Riser a difficult but necessary one for the future of Southeastern baseball.

“I love Coach (Matt) Riser to death. There’s no question about it, but my job is to do what’s best for this department. Completely rebuilding a program and maintaining a program are two different things. We couldn’t let this program get to the point where it had to be completely rebuilt again. You know, one winning season in four years, eighth place out of nine teams in the conference. The expectations here are higher,” says Southeastern Director of Athletics Jay Artigues.

When the coaching search began, Artigues had his sights set on one target capable of preserving that standard.

That was Bobby Barbier.

“Being a baseball guy, you know, I’ve always had guys that if the job came open and I wanted to target. Bobby has always been one of those guys. The way he treats his student-athletes, the way he approaches the community, the way he goes about coaching. The player development, which is really big, we’ve got to get back to the player development side of it and Bobby fit all of those molds. We had a ton of interest from the school. You know, we put one offer out there and it was to Bobby and I know you hear all kinds of speculation out there. Bobby’s the guy we targeted and he was the offer and I’m glad he took the job because I think he’s the guy to get us back to being a contender every single year,” says Artigues.

Bobby Barbier spent the majority of his baseball career in the Southland Conference as a player, assistant, and head coach at Northwestern State.

Barbier led the Demons for 7 years and helped the program to 180 wins and a Southland Conference title in 2018. He has seen 32 players drafted throughout the course of his coaching career.

“I was pretty comfortable in Natchitoches. You know, I had a pretty good contract and, you know, and it was good people and I loved it there. I kind of wanted to take that next step in my career, you know, where championships are attainable and a lot of them are, you know. So, yeah, if you don’t like it, you can run from it. We won’t run from it,” says Southeastern head baseball coach Bobby Barbier.