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Dalton High grad Tighe wins Sun Belt Conference leadership award

Oct 15, 2023Oct 15, 2023

Dalton High School graduate JP Tighe claps during a Georgia Southern University baseball game.

Dalton High School graduate and Georgia Southern University baseball player JP Tighe was named the recipient of the Inaugural Tony Robichaux Leadership Award by the Sun Belt Conference. This award, named for the late former baseball coach at the University of Louisiana, is given to a player who exemplifies great leadership and sportsmanship on a Sun Belt team.

"It's a real honor for our program and JP Tighe to be named the first recipient of the Tony Robichaux Leadership Award," said Eagles head coach Rodney Hennon, also a Dalton native. "Coach Robe (Robichaux) led a life that brought out the best in those around him every day, and when I think of Tighe and the five years he has been a part of our program at Georgia Southern, I can say that he does the same thing."

A 2018 graduate of Dalton High, Tighe starred on the baseball diamond and as a quarterback for the Catamount football team. Tighe recently completed his fifth season at catcher and outfield for the Eagles in Statesboro, and was part of a roster under Dalton's Hennon that also included Northwest Whitfield graduate Ty Fisher and Dalton grad Brady Pendley.

"He wakes up every day seeking to be the best version of himself," Hennon said of Tighe. "Not only that, but he tries to bring out the best in others and make an impact. In a game where we constantly look at numbers, you cannot put a number on the impact JP has made during his time at Georgia Southern, not only in our locker room, but on our campus and in our community."

"Like coach Robe, the world is a better place because of people like JP Tighe," Coach Hennon concluded.

"When coach Hennon told me that I had been nominated for the Coach Robichaux Leadership Award, I was extremely honored," Tighe said. "It is a privilege to be a candidate for this award, and I'd like to thank all of the coaches around the Sun Belt who voted for me as the recipient of this award. I know he [Robichaux] had a tremendous impact on athletes, specifically those at Louisiana, as well as across the country. It's an honor to be in the talks of a coach who had so much of an impact on so many different athletes."

Robichaux was the head baseball coach at Louisiana for 25 years, and was the winningest head coach in UL history with 914 wins. Robichaux took Louisiana to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2000, as well as 12 NCAA Regionals and four Super Regionals during his time at Louisiana. Robichaux finished his career with 1,177 wins and is 50th all-time in NCAA all-time wins. Robichaux also coached at McNeese State for several years, where he was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame in 2017. Robichaux died in 2019.

The Tony Robichaux Leadership Award is meant for a baseball student-athlete who exemplifies the values and beliefs that the late Robichaux would instill on his players and his community. Tighe was named the ideal candidate after not only service as a team captain on and off the field, but by also using that leadership to help set an athletic and academic standard for his team.

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