Stefni Lotief Expected To Resign As UL Co-Head Softball Coach
Reliable sources have informed Sports Radio ESPN 1420, and espn1420.com, that Stefni Lotief has resigned her position as co-head coach of Louisiana's Ragin' Cajun softball team, after 12 years on the job.
An official announcement is expected within the next couple of days.
We are told that Lotief's decision was based around her family, and she will still remain with the program, in an administrative capacity.
Lotief's husband, Michael, who has been on the staff since 2001, and has been co-head coach since 2003, will now have the sole title of head coach, while Joy Webre-LeBlanc, an assistant last season, will be elevated to associate head coach.
A search will take place to name a third member of the coaching staff.
Stefni Lotief was a UL pitcher from 1987-90, accumulating 78 victories, which is in the top five in school history, and a career ERA. of 0.66, which is second on the school's all-time list.
Lotief became the program's first ever All-American back in 1989, and was named the GTE Academic Player of the Year in 1990.
Lotief took over the UL softball program in 2001, and had phenomenal success, guiding the squad to eight NCAA Regional Championship games, three Super Regionals, and two Women's College World Series appearances.
Coach Stef has a 604-145 career record, which is good enough for one of the best winning percentages ever.
She is a seven-time winner of the Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year award, and a five-time winner of the Louisiana Coach of the Year award.
Under her guidance, the Cajuns won the regular season Sun Belt Conference Championship every year, with the exception of 2007.
UL posted 50-plus victories eight times under Lotief.
On a personal note: there's no way I could put into words what Stefni Lotief has meant to this program.
She took over a program that many said wouldn't maintain its excellence with the SEC and Big XII adding softball.
She not only won, but she did it the right way, with her team putting well over 100 players on the Sun Belt Conference All-Academic Team.
She raised money for the program, promoted her program in the public, oversaw the construction of a renovated Lamson Park, spent countless hours of work both on the field, and in the office, to help make the UL softball program one of the best in the country.
Lotief always fought for her team, and will continue to fight for them, just this time away from the dugout.
As great a coach she is, she's even a better lady. I'm going to miss talking to her after games. I'm going to miss her competitiveness. And I'm going to miss her smile.
Then again, it's not like she won't be around the program. And if she ever decides she wants to do it again, I hear she's in pretty good with the head coach.
Her contributions should never, and will never, be forgotten. She is one of the all-time greats that UL has ever had, both as a player, and a coach.
The UL softball program is in great hands. I've said countless times that Michael Lotief is the best hitting instructor in the country, and Webre-LeBlanc will be a head coach someday.
That being said, it's going to be really strange not seeing coach Stef in the dugout next year.
Thanks for everything coach!