He earned it: Tech baseball boss Burroughs gets rewarded

Lane Burroughs and his Bulldogs baseball team delivered in 2021.

On Thursday, Louisiana Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood announced the University has rewarded the Bulldog skipper with a contract extension through the 2025-26 season.

“We are building something special at Louisiana Tech,” said Burroughs. “This year was historic in so many ways, but we want it to become the norm in Ruston. That’s the goal of our players and coaches. I also know it is the goal of our administration, fans, alumni, donors and stakeholders. We are excited about 2022 and beyond.”

In his fifth season in Ruston, Burroughs guided the Bulldogs to one of their most successful years in program history. Tech won 42 games, captured the Conference USA West Division title, advanced to the C-USA Championship game and earned one of 16 national seeds and the opportunity to host the school’s first NCAA Regional.

“Lane has done an outstanding job with this program over the past five years,” said Wood. “He did an unbelievable job during a very difficult stretch.”

Although details of the extension were not released, Burroughs is now signed through the next five seasons in Ruston.

“I can’t thank Dr. (Les) Guice and Dr. Wood enough for their commitment to me, and their belief in me to be the head coach of this program,” said Burroughs. “It is an honor and one I don’t take for granted. We will continue to be relentless in our pursuit and work as hard as we can to build a program that Bulldogs everywhere can be proud of.”

The Bulldogs were one of the feel good stories of the 2021 college baseball season. Following the April of 2019 tornado that destroyed J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park, Burroughs and Co. were nomads for the majority of the next 22 months – practicing at the Ruston Sports Complex south of town, many times having to schedule workouts around Ruston High School and even little league games and practices.

However, with the return of six Covid-19 seniors and a never-say-die attitude, Burroughs and his blue-collar Bulldogs returned to campus in February with the re-opening of the newly-redesigned and rebuilt “Love Shack” and took the college baseball world by storm. Early March wins over No. 1 Arkansas and No. 4 Ole Miss sent notice to both Conference USA and the nation that Tech was for real.

“I think this year’s team epitomized their head coach’s toughness,” said Wood. “They competed relentlessly and represented our institution in a first class manner. Not only did Lane keep this program afloat during the past two challenging years since the tornado, but he led it to new heights. We wanted to show a commitment to Lane and the program, and I am grateful for Lane’s desire to remain at Louisiana Tech.”

Tech finished 42-20, including a 22-8 mark in Conference USA action – the most league wins in program history.

LA Tech earned the No. 16 national seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, marking its ninth NCAA Regional appearance in program history. The Diamond Dogs made it to the Regional final after defeating Rider 18-2 and SEC foe Alabama 10-8. LA Tech’s win over the Crimson Tide secured its third win over a different SEC opponent in a single season (Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss) for the first time since 1987.

Burroughs also guided LA Tech to its first division title since 1992 by winning the Conference USA’s Western Division title on the final day of the C-USA season.

PHOTO:  Lane Burroughs in the Tech dugout – LA Tech Athletics.

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