In front of a packed house at Russo Park's stadium club. 36-year-old Michael Desormeaux was introduced Tuesday as the new head football coach for the No. 16-ranked UL Ragin' Cajuns.
Desormeaux signed a five-year contract through Dec. 1, 2026 at $775,000 annually plus incentives. Working under Billy Napier for the past four years, Desormeaux played a key role in the Cajuns going 40-12 and winning the Sun Belt Conference championship on Saturday.
Desormeaux is no stranger to Acadiana football fans who watched him play in high school and then for UL, but here a handful of quotes that might help get to know him better.
When Billy Napier came to UL four years ago, he had been around.
“The thing I told our players, I share it with the tight ends when some things happen … ‘You write your principles in pen and your plans in pencil.’ "
This was Desormeaux’s response when asked how he will put his own mark on the football program that saw historic success under his predecessor Billy Napier, who coached the Cajuns for four years before last week accepting the head coaching position at Florida.
"In the last four years, I've gotten a front-row seat to see how elite programs are run, particularly this program. I've been around here a long time – as a player, as a fan and then back here as a coach. I've seen a lot of different things here. I've seen some things that have worked great and I've seen some things that have not worked as great. The thing that I know is I know exactly what it takes for this program to continue to have success. I know what it takes to steer this ship in the right direction and that's all I'm concerned about is this program and doing this the right way."
While many UL fans still have fond memories of the Ragin' Cajuns participating in the New Orleans Bowl, athletic director Bryan Maggard wasn’t…
Desormeaux, a former Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback, was hired by Mark Hudspeth in 2016 as the wide receivers coach. He was the only assistant retained by Napier when he took the helm in 2018. Under Napier, he was named assistant head coach and tight ends coach and later co-offensive coordinator.
"Everybody always says it never matters if you win or lose, when you get home, you're always Dad. That is not the case in my family. Just so everybody understands, they're always willing to tell me when they don't think it was good enough. I appreciate that from you two, thank you."
Desormeaux, 36, and his wife, Lindsey, have two children. Desormeaux said daughter Elle and son Thomas are his toughest critics.
"My mom and my dad have already instilled a work ethic in me that I appreciate and certainly a love for the game … My two brothers and my sister have taught me so much along the way – some good, some bad. They certainly always have a way of bringing me back down to earth when you need that from time to time."
The New Iberia Native played for Catholic High and went on to coach at Ascension Episcopal from 2013 to 2015.
In Billy Napier's final press conference as UL's head coach, he said the "gentleman's agreement" between Florida and the Cajuns provided for a…
“Dr. Maggard, he's come in here with his crew and they came in with a vision of what everybody here always thought this university could be … Their crew has been faced with more challenges over the last five years than I ever hope to have to experience, and they've handled it with grace. And they've used an approach to find out what fits our culture and to find out what's going to be a fit for us, not for anyone else."
When UL hired Bryan Maggard on Feb. 1, 2017, he couldn’t have known how many major issues he was about to face as the director of athletics for the Ragin' Cajuns over the next three years. Seven months into the job, Maggard fired successful softball coach Michael Lotief, resulting in dividing the UL fan base in the department's most successful sport. Maggard also helped get the softball program and UL community overall through the loss of Glasco's 24-year-old daughter Geri Ann in a tragic automobile accident just weeks before the start of the 2019 season. Almost immediately after guiding the softball program in a new direction in 2018, Maggard fired football coach Mark Hudspeth and replaced him with Billy Napier. Then he was faced with with the sudden passing of longtime baseball coach Tony Robichaux to heart disease in July 2019.
And this last one is just sweet:
"From the time I met Lindsey in the sixth grade, I knew she was special. Her selflessness is something I really admire and something I constantly try to duplicate.”
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