The university’s 1963 football team was unusually strong in homegrown talent; 35 of its 39 players were from Louisiana, with 30 from within 100 miles of Lafayette. As a result, coach Russ Faulkinberry changed the team’s nickname to the Raging Cajuns, a nod to the ethnic group based in south Louisiana.
History of the Ragin Cajuns
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns have a long and proud history of sports excellence. Since 1901, the school has competed in NCAA Division I athletics since 1978. They've seen incredible success in that time, including five conference championships and four NCAA tournament appearances. The team is also well-known for its passionate fan base, who often fill the stands at home games with their signature "Ragin' Cajun" chants!
Throughout history, the Ragin' Cajuns have had many standout athletes who went on to compete professionally or represent their country in international competitions such as Olympic Games or World Championships. Most notable are NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre and NBA All-Star Karl Malone, who attended Louisiana State University before going pro! Other notable alumni include Track & Field stars LaTasha Colander Clark (Olympic Gold Medalist) as well as Baseball players Hunter Pence (MLB All-Star) and Blake Trahan (Minor League Player).
In recent years, the Ragin’s have continued to be competitive in all sports while making strides towards becoming an even bigger player on college football's national stage with three bowl game appearances since 2013, including two wins over Power 5 opponents Arkansas State Red Wolves & Arizona Wildcats, respectively! With strong recruiting classes coming through each year combined with experienced coaching staffs led by Head Coach Billy Napier, it looks like this program is ready to take off into uncharted heights soon enough, so if you're looking for a great team to root for, then look no further than your very own Louisiana Ragin Cajuns.
Ragin Cajuns Products
College Sports Established
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
1973 - Present / NCAA Division I
1971 - 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1991 - Present / Sun Belt Conference
1987 - 1991 / American South Conference
1983 - 1987 / Independent
1971 - 1982 / Southland Conference
Ragin Cajuns - The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are one of the most recognizable teams in college sports, and their unique nickname has become an integral part of their identity. But where did it come from? The answer may surprise you!
The origin story begins with a group of students at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) looking for a way to distinguish themselves from other teams in the region. In 1964, they adopted "Ragin’ Cajuns" as an official school mascot after hearing about French-speaking Acadians who settled along what is now known as Bayou Lafourche in southern Louisiana during colonial times. The name was inspired by these settlers’ reputation for being fiercely independent and determinedly resilient—traits passed down through generations still define modern-day Louisianans today.
In addition to its symbolic meaning, “Ragin’ Cajun" also references both local culture and language: it combines two French words—Ragin (meaning "fury") with cayon or cayenne ("hot pepper"). This combination perfectly encapsulates how passionate Louisianans can be about their beloved team and how spicy things can get on game day!
Today, fans across all levels continue to embrace this timeless moniker proudly—and why wouldn't they? After all, there's no better way to show your support than by cheering on your favorite team while shouting its iconic nickname: Go RAGIN' CAJUNS!
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