The UL Lafayette Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and competes in Division I-A, the highest level of collegiate competition. UL sponsors eight men’s sports (football, basketball, baseball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, tennis and golf) and eight women’s sports (basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, tennis, soccer, softball and volleyball).
In 1991, UL joined the Sun Belt Conference, which includes 13 schools from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, for all sports, with the exception of football. Ten years later, in 2001, the Sun Belt Conference began sponsoring football. In 2005, the UL football program claimed a share of the Sun Belt Conference regular season title – the school’s first football title since 1994. Furthermore, over the past eight years, UL has claimed 34 Sun Belt Conference Championships in ten sports.
Each of Louisiana’s 16 sports have enjoyed great success since joining the NCAA Division I ranks in the 1970s. In fact, in 2005, UL won five Sun Belt Conference Championships (Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Softball and Baseball).
The Cajuns men’s golf team won the 2007 Sun Belt Conference championship – the program’s first in 10 years. In addition, the men’s basketball team won a share of the Sun Belt West Division crown in 2007-08, with the third-youngest roster in the country. The men’s program has advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven times and the National Invitation Tournament five times. In 2006-07, the women’s basketball team won a school record 25 games and earned the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament bid.
However, the Cajuns’ success has not been limited to the basketball court. Annually, Louisiana’s baseball and softball programs rank among the nation’s elite. In 2000, the Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team won a school record of 49 games and became the first (and only) Sun Belt Conference institution to advance to the College World Series. UL finished third that season – the highest finish ever by a first-time College World Series participant. Former Ragin’ Cajuns such as Ron Guidry and B.J. Ryan have gone on to successful major league careers with the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively. The UL softball team has advanced to the College World Series five times, most recently in 2008. Louisiana softball is a perennial top 20 power and has won eight of the Sun Belt Conference’s first nine league titles.
UL’s athletic facilities are among the best in the Sun Belt Conference. The Cox Communications Athletic Center is home to the administrative staff and football coaches. Adjacent to the Cox Communications Athletic Center is the 31,000-seat Cajun Field, which is home to the Ragin’ Cajuns football team. In the spring of 2008, Cajun Field received a new synthetic surface, which made it one of the finest in the South. Other nearby facilities include M.L. “Tigue” Moore Field baseball park, Helen and Alfred Lamson Ragin’ Cajuns Softball Park, Cajun Tennis Courts, Cajun Soccer/Track Complex and the state-of-the-art Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility.
When it comes to the fans, Louisiana has some of the best in the Sun Belt Conference and the nation. Come spend your Saturdays at Cajun Field, tailgate with us and see what it means to be a Ragin’ Cajun.