The third-annual Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Celebration, a fan-driven event to support the coaches of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s athletics program, will be held Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Cajundome Convention Center.
It will include music by Vermilion, complimentary food and drinks, a silent auction, raffles and a chance to mingle with the Louisiana coaching staff.
The event, organized by community business leaders, raised approximately $350,000 in its first two years, with proceeds going directly to recruit and retain quality coaches for Ragin’ Cajuns teams, according to Blaine Barrilleaux, one of the founding organizers.
“Keeping good coaches who continue to build successful programs takes money,” Barrilleaux said. “Look at all the success we’ve had, including a No. 1 ranked baseball team, a third consecutive bowl win and conference championships in five sports – all with a budget that ranks 127th among NCAA schools. Imagine what we could do with more funding.”
Louisiana, ranked as the 34th-best college sports program by CBSSports and, according to news reports, had the only athletics program in the country this year to cumulatively:
- win a football bowl game
- send a team to the NCAA basketball tournament
- host Regional and Super Regional tournaments in baseball and softball, and
- send a team to the Women’s College World Series
“Nearly every team at UL hit some kind of significant milestone or mark of success, and the Ragin’ Cajuns made significant positive impacts on the region’s economy,” Barrilleaux said.
A recent independent analysis by the Lafayette Economic Development Authority and Vermilion Marketing and Opinion Research revealed that the university’s football program alone injected $30 million into the local economy in 2013. Other university athletics events, such as NCAA regional baseball and softball tournaments held on campus for four weekends this spring, had an economic impact of more than $1 million.
“The Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Celebration is a great way to kick off the new year, and since the funds raised help attract and retain coaches it allows us the ability to maintain this same level of competitiveness,” said Director of Athletics Scott Farmer. “We have an incredible group of head coaches. Not only is it important to be able to keep them part of the Ragin’ Cajuns family but retaining the large majority of our assistant coaches in recent years has been a huge factor in the recent success of our entire program.”
One admission ticket costs $150 and admits two people. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
Silent auction and information updates will be posted on the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Celebration Facebook page.
For more information, contact Brad Pellegrin at (337) 354-6452.