BATON ROUGE - 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," head 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.
The 2009 season saw LSU usher in the next chapter of its storied history with the opening of the new Tiger Park, the single largest monetary investment LSU has made exclusively to any women's sport. Girouard placed her own personal touch by giving the architects many of the ideas for the park's unique features, including the arches at the front of the stadium and the 1,000-seat outfield berm.
LSU wraps up the non-conference tournament schedule this weekend playing host to the Purple & Gold Challenge at Tiger Park. The Tigers have games scheduled against Pittsburgh [Friday 3 p.m.], Hofstra [Friday 5:30 p.m.] and No. 12 Texas [Saturday 12:30 p.m.]. Bracket play begins Saturday at 3 p.m. followed by championship play starting Sunday at 9 a.m.