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Habetz Receives Thunderous Welcome


Editor/Consulting Writer

Is it destiny?

Alyson Habetz certainly thinks so, as did over 100 persons who supplied a loud and auspicious beginning on Friday for her tenure as the head Louisiana softball coach.

There were numerous family members in attendance at the Russo Park introductory press conference for Habetz, as well as others familiar with the era when Habetz reigned as one of the most recognized athletes in Cajuns’ history.

There was also no doubt that Habetz is the overwhelmingly popular choice to continue an ongoing Louisiana softball tradition which is recognized nationally.

It also seemed opportunity aligned with timely interest as her compass, Habetz indicated, that it was time for her to reinvest in Acadiana.

“It feels like home and it feels like I am where I am supposed to be. It feels like this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” Habetz told the crowd who frequently applauded and cheered after she was introduced as the softball coach by Louisiana vice-president Bryan Maggard.

Habetz originally left her 25-year-career as an assistant softball coach at the University of Alabama last year and returned to the Crowley area in order to care for her elderly mother, who was there sitting in the front row on Friday.

Her return to Acadia Parish in 2023 was supposed to be a career retirement of sorts.

That plan changed when Gerry Glasco announced last week that he was leaving Lafayette for the head Texas Tech softball position

Habetz said she was then approached by Maggard and she consented after a couple of cups of coffee at a Scott restaurant to coach the Cajuns beginning in 2025.

It’s also been difficult, Habetz said, to conceal her lifelong affinity for a Louisiana program that she helped build as a first baseman under head softball coach Yvette Girouard.

“You know, there was always this idea that I’ve got to go back and help (the Cajuns). They’re my people. I’ve always had that feeling. If not me, then who?” Habetz told the crowd.

There was also a bit of South Louisiana homesickness mixed in, Habetz admitted, as she looked out in the crowd and recognized the large number of cousins, nieces, nephews and siblings in attendance. Her family was appropriately dressed for the occasion in the Louisiana red and white school colors.

Habetz addressed that preponderance of family presence and its place in her life.

“My family has always been my backbone and right now I am humbled and grateful,” Habetz said as she glanced down at her mother, Deanna.

Girouard was there also, sitting in the second row in a red blouse.

Habetz was generous, noting the influence of Girouard, who started the Louisiana softball program over 30 years ago and whose name is prominently etched in several areas of Russo Park.

“(Girouard) is the base for everything that I am. I am proud to replicate the tradition that you started. You are invested in everything that is here,” Habetz told Girouard.

It’s uncertain at this point whether Girouard could eventually return to the softball field to assist Habetz, who was attending (then USL) on a women’s basketball scholarship when she agreed to play Cajuns’ softball.

In addition to continuing the winning tradition attached to Louisiana softball, Habetz said she is anxious to begin recruiting players and perhaps resign several from the 2024 Cajuns’ roster who left the program recently to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

“I will work tirelessly to match your energy,” she told the Cajuns softball supporters.”We will give you a lot to cheer about. I can’t wait to get started,” Habetz added.