LAFAYETTE — Michael Desormeaux will lead his alma mater.
The former record-setting Louisiana quarterback was announced Sunday as the Ragin' Cajuns new head football coach, replacing Billy Napier who left to take the same position at the University of Florida. Desormeaux has been on the Ragin' Cajuns football staff for the last six seasons and this season served as the team's co-offensive coordinator as the program won its fourth-straight Sun Belt West Division title, and its first outright SBC Championship.
Desormeaux, who starred at Catholic High, also served as interim coach in 2017 as the program transitioned from former coach Mark Hudspeth to Napier. Desormeaux was also the lone member of Hudspeth's staff that Napier retained during the switch.
"I am absolutely thrilled and honored to serve as the next head coach at the University of Louisiana," Desormeaux said in a statement. "I am a Ragin' Cajun through-and-through, so to get this unbelievable opportunity is humbling to say the least. I cannot thank Dr. Savoie, Dr. Maggard, and the rest of our leadership enough for this truly unique and special opportunity. This program has been built on relationships, and I am looking forward to continuing to build and advance this #cULture that we have created. I am most excited that I get to stay and continue this journey with these men in that locker room. They are a very talented and special group."
Desormeaux is already a Ragin' Cajuns football legend.
During his playing career (2005-08), Desormeaux passed for 3,893 yards and 23 touchdowns while rushing for 2,843 yards and 16 scores. The former Catholic High star was named All-Sun Belt Conference three times as an all-purpose specialist before being named the SBC's Offensive Player of the Year after throwing for 1,876 yards while rushing for 1,035 yards.
Desormeaux became the eighth quarterback in NCAA history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons after rushing for 1,141 yards as a junior in 2007.
Desormeaux joined the Ragin' Cajuns staff in 2016 as the wide receivers coach and then the following season as the running backs coach. Desormeaux also developed a reputation for his recruiting ability, getting running back Trey Ragas and former wideouts Ja'Marcus Bradley and Al Riles to sign with Louisiana.
Napier retained Desormeaux on his staff and then promoted him to co-offensive coordinator for this season.
Desormeaux does have experience as a head coach in the prep ranks guiding Ascension Episcopal School for three seasons, including an 11-2 record and the Division IV state semifinal appearance in 2015. He also served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Catholic High (2010-13).
"Throughout our search process, we were intentional in identifying someone who could carry on the winning #cULture that we have built at the University of Louisiana," Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard said. "We looked both internally and externally and it became very evident that not only is Mike Desormeaux ready to be a head coach, but he is the right head coach for our program now.
"Mike has amazing relationships with every member of our nationally-ranked team and is highly respected by the high school football coaches in the state of Louisiana," Maggard added. "He is a man of unbelievable character and integrity, is highly respected in the college coaching profession, and has a very high football acumen."
Desormeaux arrived at Louisiana as a player after a prolific prep career at Catholic High. Desormeaux lettered four years in both football and basketball, as well as five years in track and three in baseball.
He led the Panthers football team to three straight Class 3A playoff appearances and three straight district championships in football. Desormeaux earned first-team Class 3A All-State honors in 2003 and was named the All-District Offensive MVP.
Maggard announced on Sunday that Desormeaux will serve as the head coach for the team's bowl game — The R&L Carries New Orleans Bowl which will be played in New Orleans on Saturday, December 18th.