Change of fortune allows coach to change his number


When he coaches the third base box, he wears the number 97. His players at Riverside Academy would ask head coach Frank Cazeaux for an explanation.
 
It was simple.
 
“It was the last time I won a state championship,” said Cazeaux, referencing the class 5A championship he won at Archbishop Rummel in 1997.
 
Next season, Cazeaux’s 34th in coaching, that number will change to 17.
 
Twenty years between state baseball championships – and wondering if you would ever win another one – would seem like an eternal wait for many. But, not for one of the most underrated and talented coaches in the metro area.
 
“It is pretty exciting to win another,” said Cazeaux. “But I was grateful for one. Some very good coaches never get that opportunity.”
 
A 2-0 shutout win in the Division III championship over Ouachita Christian was Cazeaux’s 577th victory in 33 years of coaching baseball.
 
Cazeaux’s résumé is littered with significant moments. He took over a Riverdale baseball team that was 0-21 the previous season. The next season, that team won a first-round state playoff game.
 
In 2011, he led the St. Martin’s football to a perfect 9-0 regular season. Cazeaux did something that doesn’t happen often. Tony Porter Field had an overflow crowd when the St. Martin Saints won the district title, a 7-3 win over archrival Country Day.
 
Cazeaux said a football mentality helped carry his 2017 Rebels to a state baseball crown.
 
“We have guys like Jordan Loving, Trey Catoire, Zach Geiger, Jared Hymel, Zach Breaux and Tanner Loupe who definitely brought a different attitude to our team,” said Cazeaux.
 
Riverside won the Division III football championship, a first for the school, in December.
 
“Those guys were hard-nosed, but sometimes they were too hard-nosed,” added Cazeaux. “In baseball, you need to focus on the task at hand. It is a different mindset.”
 
So, 20 years after he won his first baseball crown, and seconds after the final out of last Saturday’s Division III championship, Cazeaux peeled the sticker off the back of his helmet.
 
The number 97 was soon to be replaced.
 
“What has always struck me about that Rummel team is that 20 years later, when I see those guys, all they want to talk about is 1997,” said Cazeaux.
 
Cazeaux said only twice in his career, in 1997 and 20 years later, did any of his teams actually talk about winning a state championship.
 
He hopes it isn’t his last.
 
“I enjoy coaching, seeing the kids do well,” he said. “It is about them; it is not about me and what I am doing.”
 
Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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