Since her playing days at McNeese State, coupled with a three-year stint as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Katie Roux believed she would always have blue and gold blood pumping through her veins.
She believes that will also serve her well in her new job as head softball coach at Live Oak High School where the school officially turned over the reins of its program Wednesday to Roux, a former Denham Springs High standout.
“It’s always good where you can find a place where you can call home,” Roux said. “In a lot of ways Live Oak feels like home. It’s where all of my family lives. It’s a school where they accepted me and welcomed me with open arms. I consider Live Oak like a second home to me.”
Roux, who spent the 2015-16 season at Live Oak as head volleyball coach and assistant softball coach, replaces Michelle Morris.
“I am extremely excited to get coach Roux back on our campus and in our community and leading our softball program,” Live Oak athletic director Brett Beard said. “I am also so ready to watch the next chapter of Live Oak softball grow and flourish as we not only introduce coach Roux but also open our “Field of Dreams” that any young lady would love to be an Eagle and play softball.”
Live Oak is scheduled to debut a state-of-the-art, on-campus baseball/softball facility with artificial turf fields for the 2020 season.
Roux recently completed her third year on the McNeese State coaching staff as an associate head coach.
During her tenure the Cowgirls won back-to-back Southland Conference tournament championships (2017-18) and participated in consecutive NCAA regionals. The Cowgirls were also the regular-season SLC champions in ’17.
“It’s still a whirlwind and I’m just really grateful for the opportunities McNeese gave me and how much I learned there,” Roux said. “I also know McNeese is my family and they want what’s best for me. They trust when I decide to make a move that it’s in the best interest of everyone. It was easy to make the move because of the support I have, both in Lake Charles and in Denham Springs.”
During her playing/coaching career Roux credited the influences of former McNeese State head coaches Mike Smith and Jo Hardin, now of Ole Miss and Virginia, respectively, along with current Cowgirls head coach James Landreneau for helping to shape her vision as a coach.
“The combination of all three shows just how blessed I’ve been and how much I’ve been able to learn over the last few years,” Roux said. “Coach Smith showed me what it looks like to incorporate discipline into a program and how far that goes and how much kids truly crave that. Coach Landreneau showed me what it’s like to be a true competitor and coach Hardin, how to coach the heart of the athlete.”
Roux enjoyed a standout collegiate career at McNeese where she was a four-year starter - one year at second base before moving to shortstop.
The Cowgirls captured the consecutive regular-season SLC titles (’13-14) and reached the league’s postseason tournament in all four of Roux’s seasons.
Roux was a member of the Southland Conference’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a three-time All-SLC academic selection.
Moreover, Roux was named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete All-American in ’13 and member of the Capital One Academic All-District team in ’14.
Roux was a four-year letter winner, a three-time all-district performer and Class 5A All-State selection at Denham Springs High School. The Lady Jackets won the district championship in 2008 and were twice runners-up in ’07 and ’09.
“McNeese has great tradition, but Live Oak also has a wonderful tradition,” Roux said. “I’m excited to be a part of something that has such deep roots. I just feel really blessed because I feel like it’s a great opportunity to help more people, just in a different way.
“I want to win, but at the end of the day I want to coach the heart of these girls,” Roux said. “I want to give them hope for their future and show them there’s something way bigger than sports. The wins take care of themselves if you do everything the right way.”