Michael Lotief Terminated As UL Softball Coach
For the first time since 2000, Michael Lotief will not be a member of the Louisiana Ragin' Cajun softball coaching staff in 2017.
Following complaints of students and a staff member of the Louisiana Athletics department, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has terminated head softball coach Michael Lotief, effective immediately.
Lotief violated University and UL System policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment.
“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated,” University President Dr. Joseph Savoie said. “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”
A national search for a new head softball coach will begin immediately, according to director of Louisiana Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard.
Lotief had been on administrative leave since October 6, after what Lotief’s attorney said was a “passionate conversation” with university officials about perceived gender inequities in the program.
In 15 seasons as either head coach or co-head coach at Louisiana, and 17 seasons overall, Lotief has part of a program that advanced to the NCAA tournament in every single one.
Originally a volunteer coach from 2001-02, before becoming co-head coach with his wife Stefni from 2003-12, Lotief became the sole head coach prior to the 2013 season.
It should be noted that one week before that 2013 season began, Lotief resigned before the start of the season, citing family concerns, although many speculated that Lotief was dissatisfied with the administration support of his program.
He remained on staff as an unpaid volunteer assistant, but returned quickly as the head coach, guiding the Cajuns to an NCAA super regional berth.
The Cajuns' success under Lotief is unquestioned.
Lotief led his teams to over 40 wins in every season, eight seasons with 50-or-more victories, and a school-record 60 wins in 2004.
Under his guidance as head coach, the Cajuns advanced to three Women’s College World Series (2003, 2008 & 2014), seven NCAA Super Regionals and 15 NCAA regionals.
In addition, Louisiana captured the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship 13 times in his 15-year tenure as a head coach, including 15 titles in his 17 seasons, overall.
The Cajuns also won 14 conference tournament championships in the 18 years of softball in the league, while posting an all-time record of 56-8 in the event, with Lotief in the dugout.
A 2016 ASA/USA Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame inductee, Lotief was chosen by his peers in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) to receive the 2016 Donna Newberry “Perseverance” Award.
Prior to coaching college softball, Lotief coached the Louisiana Reflections, a summer program, where he guided that team to five-consecutive state championships, while making five national tournament appearances, including winning the AFA 18-U National Championship in 2000.
A 1981 graduate of Teurlings Catholic High School in Lafayette, Lotief holds a career record of 729-174.
The Cajuns, under Lotief, went 47-8 last season, winning the Sun Belt Conference title with the best record in league history (23-1) before losing to LSU in the Baton Rouge Regional finals. Before that loss, Louisiana had advanced to five straight NCAA super regionals and had won NCAA regional titles in seven of the previous nine years.