LAKE CHARLES – Five standout sports figures in McNeese Athletics history – baseball coach Tony Robichaux, football’s Adam Henry and Toddrick Pendland, track’s Sarah Salmon, and men’s basketball’s Patrick Richard – will be inducted into the McNeese Sports Hall of Fame in September as part of its 2017 induction class.
The induction ceremony will take place on September 9 at the Cowboys’ football home opener against Florida Tech.
A pregame ceremony to introduce the inductees, which is open to the public, will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Cowboy Club Room. The group of five will then be recognized on the field at halftime of the game.
Robichaux coached the Cowboys’ baseball team from 1987-94 and compiled the most wins of any coach in school history with 263 victories, an average of 33 wins per year.
During his time, McNeese won its first-ever Southland Conference championship (1988), its first SLC tournament championship (193), and appeared in two NCAA Regional Tournaments (1988, 1993). In his final season at the helm in 1994, the Cowboys set a school record with 41 wins in the season. His teams recorded 30 or more wins in seven straight seasons following his first year.
Now the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette, Robichaux, who has amassed a career record of 1,115-711-2, coached 37 All-Southland Conference selections at McNeese, four league players of the year, two hitters of the year, two newcomers of the year, one pitcher of the year, and he was named the 1988 league coach of the year. He also coached 13 players at McNeese that were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft.
Henry was a standout wide receiver for the Cowboys from 1990-93 and earned first team all-conference honors in his senior season.
In his career, he caught 89 passes for 1,690 yards, which at the time, was a school record. He led the team in receiving in both the 1992 and ’93 seasons and was a key member of the Cowboys’ squad in winning the 1991 and 1993 SLC championship as well as the program’s first-ever playoff victory in 1992. During his career, McNeese compiled a 30-17 record, including a 21-4 league mark.
Following his playing career, he spent several seasons as an assistant coach for the Cowboys and is now the wide receivers coach for the NFL’s New York Giants.
Pendland was another football standout who helped lead the Cowboys to three league titles in his four years from 2006-09.
A two-time Associated Press All-American, Pendland racked up 3,137 career rushing and 3,504 all-purpose yards. His 1,431 rushing yards in 2008 continues to sit atop the team’s record book while his career yardage ranks fourth all-time behind Hall of Famers Henry Fields, Buford Jordan and Tony Citizen. He also led the team in rushing in 2009 with 1,059 yards.
His 130.1 rushing yards per game average in 2008 is the second-highest in a season in school history while his seven 100-yard rushing games in that same season is tied for the most in a season. He compiled 13 100-yard rushing games in his career with seven of those going for 150 yards or more.
McNeese posted a 34-13 overall mark in his career and 22-5 record in conference games.
The Cowgirls’ first-ever All-American, Salmon was a distance runner for the Cowgirls from 1997-99 in both cross country and the indoor and outdoor track and field events.
She won the SLC cross country women’s championship in 1997 and 1998 and qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships both years, finishing 21st in 1997 to mark the all-time best finish in McNeese and Southland Conference history.
She was a four-time SLC track champion in the 3,000-meters (1997 and 1998), the 5,000-meters (1999) and 1600m in 1999. She continues to hold the indoor school record in the mile run at 4:46.42 (also a SLC record) and the 3,000-meters (9:29.94), both set in 1998, and was voted the team’s MVP in ’98 and ’99.
Richard helped lead the Cowboys’ basketball team to the 2011 Southland Conference regular season championship and back-to-back national postseason berths (NIT in 2011 and CIT in 2012).
He earned Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention honors as a senior after he averaged 17.9 points per game to lead the team and the Southland Conference. In addition to his All-America honors, he was named the league’s player of the year and garnered NABC District 23 All-Star First Team honors
In his career (2009-12), Richard scored 1,625 points (12th on the all-time scoring list) and dished out 299 assists (10th on the career list). He earned all-conference honors three times with two first-team appearances and was a two-time all-tournament team selection.
The 2010-11 McNeese Athlete of the Year, Richard is currently playing professional basketball with the Maccabi Rishon LeZion of the Israeli Basketball Premier League.