LSU Record: 526-171-1
Career Record: 1,285-421-1
2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee
2001 NFCA National Coaching Staff of the Year
1990, 1993 NFCA National Coach of the Year
Seven-Time NFCA South Region Coach of the Year
Second-Winningest Active Division I Coach
Third-Winningest All-Time Division I Coach
Fifth-Best Winning Percentage Among Active Division I Coaches
Fifth-Best All-Time Division I Winning Percentage
Five Women’s College World Series Appearances
One of Three Coaches to Lead Two Programs to the WCWS
20 NCAA Regional Appearances
10 National Top 10 Finishes
2001, 2002, 2006 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year
2000 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year
1984, 1985, 1987 Southland Conference Coach of the Year
Nine Conference Championships (UL-Lafayette was Independent from 1988-1999)
14-Time Louisiana Coach of the Year
2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Inductee
2002 Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Inductee
2008 New Iberia Recreation Department Softball Hall of Fame Inductee
St. Cecilia School Hall of Fame Inductee
30-Straight Winning Seasons
16 Academic All-Americans
Pick whatever criteria you want to use and you’ll get the same result: Yvette Girouard is synonymous with outstanding softball.
A pioneer of the game and one of the greatest coaches in history, the 2005 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame inductees’ effect on LSU was powerful.
Girouard, who also was inducted into the Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2002, is the fifth-winningest coach in Division I softball with a record of 1,285-421-1 in 31 seasons.
Are team accomplishments the criteria for an outstanding coach? With 30-consecutive winning seasons under her belt, Girouard’s teams won nine conference championships, racked up 10 national Top 10 finishes, earned 20 NCAA Regional appearances and are no strangers to Oklahoma City. She became just the third coach in NCAA history to steer two programs to the Women’s College World Series when she led LSU during the 2001 and 2004 seasons after taking UL-Lafayette to a trio of WCWS appearances in the 1990s.
Girouard’s first season at LSU ended in storybook fashion as the 2001 squad matched a school record with 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, SEC Tournament Championship).
Sparked by SEC Player of the Year, NCAA Regional MVP and three-time All-American Britni Sneed, LSU knocked out Girouard’s former school, UL-Lafayette, in the championship game to punch its ticket to the WCWS. The Tigers fell to Stanford in the opening round but bounced back to knock off Iowa along with defending national champion Oklahoma before bowing out to UCLA.
Girouard reeled in her 100th win at LSU in just 119 games during the 2002 season, the fastest coach to reach 100 victories in school history. She reached 900 career wins and produced another 50-win season along with a Top 15 finish in 2003.
The 2004 Tigers took it to the next level and were ranked as high as No. 2 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll on two separate occasions. LSU turned in its third SEC titles sweep in four seasons and rolled through NCAA Regional play defeating Illinois to return to the WCWS.
LSU came within seven outs of the national championship game. After defeating Michigan in extra innings in its first game, the Tigers fell to eventual national champion UCLA in game two.
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 began the day with a win over Florida State before defeating California to force the “if necessary” game.
Unfortunately, LSU couldn’t get past California a second time. The Tigers remarkable run marked the first time since 1984 a school from east of the Mississippi River had advanced to within a game of the national championship. 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.
For their efforts, Girouard, associate head coach James DeFeo and assistant coach Lori Osterberg were named NFCA South Region Coaching Staff of the Year during both of LSU’s WCWS seasons. She went onto to earn her 1,000th career victory against Arkansas on April 6, 2005.
Are All-America selections the criteria? Girouard has coached 23 different players to 43 All-America selections. Five players including Leslie Klein have been deemed three-time All-America picks. She also has guided her athletes to 16 Academic All-America honors, including two-time selection Stephanie Hill.
Perhaps it’s giving back to the game by molding successful coaches for the next generation. Girouard has left her stamp as 11 former players/coaches associated with her over the years currently hold Division I jobs, including former All-Americans LaDonia Hughes and Trena Peel. Peel along with Rachel Mitchell are playing professionally for the Akron Racers and Chicago Bandits in the National Pro Fastpitch league.
Over her career, Girouard has been named coach of the year by three separate conferences: the SEC (2001 & 2002), the Sun Belt (2000) and the Southland (1984, 1985 & 1987. Her UL-Lafayette squads were independent from 1988-1999, but that didn’t stop Girouard from taking home NFCA National Coach of the Year honors in 1990 and 1993. She also has collected an unprecedented 14 Louisiana Coach of the Year awards.
LSU’s 2010 campaign continued to see program firsts under Girouard. The Tigers ran off a record 24-game winning streak, which marked the third longest run in school history by any LSU team only behind the 1980-81 men’s basketball and 1996 & 97 baseball squads. Rachel Mitchell also became LSU’s all-time home run leader, Kirsten Shortridge notched her second consecutive NFCA All-American season and Rachele Fico earned the program’s first SEC Freshman of the Year award.
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.
At the 2009 NCAA Regionals, Girouard secured her 1,200th career victory with a 10-2 rout of Arizona State and became only the third coach in NCAA history to reach that historic feat.
After missing the postseason with a 31-23 mark in 2005, LSU rocketed back to the nation’s upper echelon and returned to prominence in 2006. Girouard guided the Tigers back into the Top 10 nationally after firing out to an impressive 25-3 start. LSU swept through its NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional for the first time.
The Tigers toppled Arizona, the nation’s No. 1 team and eventual national champion, 3-2 in the second game of the Super Regional behind All-America hurler Emily Turner and a three RBI performance from Lauren Delahoussaye. LSU became the first program to knock off the Wildcats in a game at home that could send UA to the Women’s College World Series and wrapped up 2006 with a 55-14 record.
The 2007 season ran true to form as Girouard kept the Tigers among the Top 10 nationally for the entire year and racked up a 55-12 record. Led by Turner and Dani Hofer, the nation’s premier one-two pitching punch, LSU notched series wins from both No. 1 Tennessee and No. 2 Alabama to compile its fourth SEC Western Division crown and fourth SEC Tournament title during the Girouard era.
LSU ran through the NCAA Regional in Palo Alto unblemished aided by the bats of three-time All-America Leslie Klein, Regional MVP Rachel Mitchell and Diamond Sports National Catcher of the Year Killian Roessner to proceed to its second straight NCAA Super Regional. Dee Dee Henderson also earned Academic All-America honors to give LSU a third consecutive season with an Academic All-American.
Girouard’s 2008 Tigers produced another successful campaign as LSU went 44-18 and hosted a NCAA Regional in its final season at the old Tiger Park. Mitchell continued her development into an All-SEC First-Team performer.
In her two decades as the UL-Lafayette head coach, Girouard built the team from the ground floor with no scholarships and a $3,000 budget to one of the nation’s perennial powers. The Cajuns totaled 10 NCAA Regional berths and tacked on three WCWS trips. With a .815 winning percentage, her teams posted the third-best winning percentage nationally in the 1990’s behind only Arizona and UCLA.
The daughter of the late Rose Mary and Alton Girouard, Yvette was born in Broussard, La., and attended Comeaux High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from USL in 1976 in health and physical education. During her college days, she played on the Lady Cajun volleyball team and was named the school’s 1976 Female Athlete of the Year.
Following college, Girouard served as head coach at Lafayette High School where she began the softball program in 1977. She moved onto to coach at her alma mater, Comeaux High School, in 1980 before beginning the USL softball program the following season.
Girouard served a three-year term as the South Region Representative on the NCAA All-America Committee and served a pair of two-year stints on the NCAA South Regional ranking committee. She also served as a member of the nine-person NCAA Softball Rules Committee.
With a list of accomplishments and awards that speak for themselves, what is left for a woman who has won over 75 percent of her games on the collegiate level? College softball’s ultimate prize: Girouard’s mind and energy are squarely focused on bringing home LSU’s first softball national championship.
Head Coach, Lafayette High School (1977-80)
Head Coach, Comeaux High School (1980)
Head Coach, Louisiana-Lafayette (1981-2000)
Head Coach, LSU (2001-2011)
First win: USL def. New Orleans, 8-3, 1981
100th win: USL def. Louisiana-Monroe, 5-1, April 13, 1985
200th win: USL def Centenary, 2-0, April 23, 1988
300th win: USL def. Samford, 3-1, Feb. 24, 1991
400th win: USL def. South Carolina, 6-1, April 11, 1993
500th win: USL def. Louisiana Tech, 6-0, March 19, 1995
600th win: USL def. Southwest Missouri State, 1-0, March 29, 1997
700th win: USL def. Southeastern Louisiana, 9-1, April 15, 1999
800th win: LSU def. Kentucky, 5-2, April 21, 2001
900th win: LSU def. Alabama, 4-3, March 29, 2003
1,000th win: LSU def. Arkansas, 8-3, April 6, 2005
1,100th win: LSU def. Auburn, 9-0, March 31, 2007
1,200th win: LSU def. Arizona State, 10-2, May 16, 2009
Girouard Year-by Year
Overall Record: 1,285-421-1
Record at LSU: 526-171-1
|At UL-Lafayette (Referred to as Southwestern Louisiana until 2000)|
|1983||22||13||.629||Third Place, Southland Conference|
|1984||28||9||.757||Southland Conference Champion|
|1985||39||13||.750||Southland Conference Champion|
|1986||32||19||.627||Southland Conference Champion|
|1987||31||16||.660||NIT; Southland Conference Champion|
|1988||29||16||.644||No. 22 National Ranking|
|1989||48||16||.750||No. 21 National Ranking|
|1990||44||8||.846||No. 7 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|1991||33||10||.767||No. 14 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|1992||41||12||.774||No. 12 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|1993||57||7||.891||No. 8 National Ranking; Third place in WCWS|
|1994||57||5||.919||No. 2 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|1995||49||9||.845||No. 5 National Ranking; Fifth place in WCWS|
|1996||46||10||.821||No. 5 National Ranking; Fifth place in WCWS|
|1997||46||18||.718||No. 13 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|1999||54||11||.831||No. 4 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|2000||45||15||.750||No. 16 National Ranking; Sun Belt Champion, NCAA Regional|
|2001||59||11||.843||No. 3 National Ranking; Third place in WCWS, SEC Champion|
|2002||56||11||.836||No. 9 National Ranking, NCAA Regional, SEC Champion|
|2003||50||18||.735||No. 15 National Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|2004||57||12||.826||No. 3 National Ranking; Third place in WCWS, SEC Champion|
|2006||55||14||.789||No. 11 Final Ranking; NCAA Super Regional|
|2007||55||12||.821||No. 10 Final Ranking; SEC Tournament Champion; NCAA Super Regional|
|2008||44||18||.710||No. 18 Final Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|2009||34||18-1||.651||No. 19 Final Ranking; NCAA Regional|
|2010||45||16||.738||No. 19 Final Ranking, NCAA Regional|
|2011||40||18||.690||No. 22 Final Ranking, NCAA Regional|
|Totals||1,285||421-1||.753||Five WCWS Appearances; 20 NCAA Regional Appearances|