On the team’s strengths:  UL has kind of always been a field team. That’s where we get the depth and can score a bunch of points. It’s no different right now. The trick’s going to be placing those people on the track that can really help you. There may not ever be great depth on the track, but you go with what you have and then you kind of filter in those other people when you have the opportunity to.

On the team’s weakness:  In the distance events we’ve kind of been on a down slide. That’s kind of been my focus right now. The easiest place to get better is going to be with the distance people, and we’re going to go out and try to find some people in those events.

On the nature track & field:  That’s the biggest thing I see with this team right now. They’re all focused in as individuals. This is my event over here. That’s your event over there. I think you miss something by not making it a team sport. I want them to know that this is your family, so we’re going to have meetings when everybody is together and everybody is going to know their teammates and we’re going to have fun. I want them pulling for each other because it makes an impact on what you do individually.

On future track clinics:  We’ve talked about it a little bit, and it may not be immediate, but it’s something that we may very well do in the future. There’s enough interest in track and field around here where you can probably do it. Maybe we’ll do some kind of summer program and get the younger kids involved, even if its something like late night track meets for kids 5 and under. Stuff like that’s fun.

On high school track and field:  Some people feel like generally it’s going down, but I don’t believe that. I still think that you have your good quality athletes out there. There’s a lot of Division I athletes in Lafayette, and if we can just get a few of those who can come in and make an immediate impact in the Sun Belt, we’ll be fine. With TOPS available now, we think we can get some good quality athletes, which should make for a really good track team.

On being back home: It’s outstanding. You know when I left, the ultimate goal was to get back here. Louisiana has always been home for me. If you grew up here you know the people, you know the culture, the expectations. And for me that turns into a lot of pressure to achieve for the people here. I still haven’t sold my house in Arkansas, so I’m living at my parents’ house and trying to find a house in Lafayette.

Al Karré is a practicing attorney in Lafayette, and an avid Cajuns sports fan.  To read more of his writing, click on his name above.

Brief Biography
Lon Badeaux was named Arkansas State University’s head track and field coach July 28, 2007. During his time there, Badeaux coached 47 Sun Belt Conference champions, seven school record holders, 29 regional qualifiers, 17 national qualifiers, five All-Americans and one Olympian.

He was named runner-up for the 2004 Mondo National Assistant Coach of the Year for jumps and multi-events by the USA Track and Field Coaches for Division I-A. He was also named to the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Committee for scheduling.

Badeaux was a part of ASU’s 2006 Men’s Indoor Sun Belt Conference Championship and was serving as interim head coach when student-athlete James Jenkins was named All-America after an third-place finish in the triple jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships.

A native of New Iberia, La., Badeaux received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana in health and physical education. He received his master’s degree in exercise science from Arkansas State University. While at UL he set the indoor and outdoor records in the pole vault at 17-7 and 17-5, respectively. In 1996, he was awarded All-America status with a third-place finish in the NCAA Indoor Championships.

A certified USA Track and Field Level II coach, Badeaux originally came to ASU to train under local Olympian and pole vault coach Earl Bell.

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