The Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Public Policy Center is expected to open in 2019 as a partnership between the College of Liberal Arts and Dupré Library.
Five former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns student-athletes and three former administrators will be inducted into the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Members of the 2017 class are student-athletes Lacey Bertucci Sharp, Dion Brown, JoJo Harris, Jonathan Lucroy and the late Kim Perrot. Administrators Danny Cottonham, Sherry LeBas and John Porche will be inducted into the hall for Lifetime Achievement and longstanding commitment to University athletics.
The inductees will be honored by the University and the Ragin' Cajuns Lettermen Club at an invitation-only reception on Friday, Nov. 17 at the Stadium Club at Russo Park. They will be recognized during halftime of the Homecoming football game against New Mexico State on Nov. 18 at Cajun Field.
The University’s Hall of Fame recognizes men and women who distinguished themselves as student-athletes and have made significant contributions to their professions and their communities. They are nominated and selected through a process that is overseen by the board of directors of the Ragin' Cajuns Lettermen Club, an organization of former athletes who have lettered in their respective sports.
Bertucci Sharp played in 255 games from 2004-2008 as a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns softball team, a school record. She was named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team four times. Bertucci Sharp slugged 58 career home runs and drove in at least 40 runs each season.
She played in a school-record 68 games as a freshman in 2004, helping Louisiana notch the school’s first undefeated record in Sun Belt Conference play.
Brown, a member of the Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team from 1980-1984, finished his career as one of the top scorers and rebounders in school history. He earned All-Southland Conference honors in 1982 and was a two-time All-Louisiana selection.
Brown scored 1,412 points and grabbed 926 rebounds in 1982, the same year the Ragin’ Cajuns earned a spot in the championship game of the Great Alaskan Shootout. He was named to the All-Tournament team.
Harris became the second All-American in Ragin’ Cajuns women’s track and field history. She finished No. 8 in the discus at the 1994 NCAA Track and Field Championships. That year, she set the current school record in the event with a toss of 180 feet 11” inches.
A two-time Sun Belt Conference champion in the discus, Harris was named to the 30-Year All-Time SBC team in 2006 and was a two-time NCAA qualifier.
Lucroy is a two-time Major League All-Star who plays for the Colorado Rockies. He earned Freshman All-America honors in 2005. During three seasons as a Ragin’ Cajun, Lucroy was twice named to the All-Sun Belt Conference team.
He finished his career in 2007 as the school’s all-time leader in doubles (54), runs batted in (184) and total bases (414). He ranks among the University’s top five in hits (241), home runs (35), sacrifice flies (16) and slugging percentage (.612).
Perrot set 19 school-records as a member of the women’s basketball team from 1986-90. She finished as the Ragin’ Cajuns all-time leader in points (2,157), assists (654) and steals (421).
A four-time all-conference selection, the late Perrot led the nation in scoring for the 1989-90 season. In 1990, she scored a school-record 58 points against Southeastern Louisiana University. The scoring ranked as the second-highest, single-game tally in NCAA history.
Perrot played professionally for the Houston Comets of the WNBA, helping the team to back-to-back league titles in 1997 and 1998. She was runner-up for WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1998. Perrot died of cancer in 1999.
Cottonham began his tenure at the University in 1977 as assistant dean of Student Personnel. He then became the school’s first director of the Student-Athlete Academic Center in 1982, a position he held until his retirement in 2012.
Cottonham was recognized by the University in 2009 with the President’s Cup for his dedication and commitment to Ragin’ Cajun student-athletes.
LeBas began her career with the University in 1973 as a faculty member. She then became the Ragin’ Cajuns’ senior woman administrator from 1975-2012.
LeBas served as head coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns volleyball team from 1980-85 and was twice head coach of the Ragin’ Cajuns women’s tennis team (1976-1977 and 1978-79). She received the 2003 Ragin' Cajun Spirit Award.
Porche was director of Athletic Training from 1982-2011. During 42 years total as an athletic trainer, he participated in 424 collegiate football games, including 325 as the Ragin’ Cajuns head athletic trainer.
In 1995, he was honored by the National Athletic Trainer's Association for 25 years of distinguished service. In June 1996, he was inducted into the Louisiana Athletic Trainer's Association Hall of Fame.
Photo: Members of into the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Athletics Hall of Fame for 2017 are, left to right: Dion Brown, Jonathan Lucroy the late Kim Perrot and Danny Cottonham. Bottom row (l to r): Lacey Bertucci Sharp, JoJo Harris, Sherry LeBas and John Porche.