Head Coach James Landreneau
James Landreneau guided McNeese to a school record 24 conference wins, tied the school record with 43 (43-18) wins, the 2017 Southland Conference regular season title, SLC Tournament title and an NCAA Regional appearance as well as being named the league’s Coach of the Year in his first season as head coach.
Landreneau, a key component on the McNeese Cowgirls' softball coaching staff the previous four years, continued the Cowgirl success in 2017.
In 2017, the Cowgirls broke a combined nine records (8 McNeese, 1 SLC) and tied six school records and led the SLC in 15 statistical categories including 11 offensive categories. The Cowgirls broke the McNeese single season RBI (320), runs scored (361) and walks (216) records while leading the SLC with a .296 batting average, .460 slugging percent, .399 on base percent, 368 runs scored, 471 hits, 325 RBI, 85 doubles, 52 homeruns and 229 walks. His pitching staff ranked third in the league with a 2.58 ERA and fourth in strikeouts with 229.
Under Landreneau’s leadership, he coached the 2017 SLC Player and Hitter of the Year (Erika Piancastelli) for the third consecutive year and Pitcher of the Year (Rachel Smith) along with five other All-SLC picks, three All-Region and five All-Louisiana selections. Piancastelli also earned the SLC softball Student-Athlete of the Year for the second straight year and was named to the CoSIDA District 6 All-Academic Team.
After starting the 2017 season with a 5-9 record, Landreneau guided the Cowgirls to a 38-9 record the rest of the way including a 12-game winning streak and won 13 of their last 15 games.
In his previous four years at McNeese, the Cowgirls compiled a 157-66 overall record and an 83-20 mark in Southland Conference play and has been a part of three conference championships (2013, 2014, 2016) while coaching three league player of the year recipients.
In 2016, Landreneau coached an offense that was led by two-time NFCA All-America catcher and Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year Erika Piancastelli as the Cowgirls won the league regular season and tournament championships while playing in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regionals where they beat former national champion Arizona State in the opening round.
The Cowgirls, who won a school record 43 games, led the league in hitting (.305), slugging (.460), on-base percentage (.409), runs scored (350), hits (466), runs batted in (292), doubles (88), total bases (702) and hit by pitches (81).
In addition to the record number of victories, the Cowgirls also set school records in runs scored, RBI, batters hit, walks (201) and on-base percentage.
In 2015, Landreneau's offense broke or tied four single season records while Piancastelli became the first player in Southland Conference history to be voted as the league's Player, Hitter and Freshman of the Year in the same season.
McNeese posted a .968 fielding percentage that season to rank 36th in the nation. The Cowgirls finished the season ranked fourth in the league with 61 doubles that year as they finished with a 38-15 overall record and a conference championship mark of 19-5.
In 2014, the Cowgirls repeated as conference champions with a 20-6 league record and 40-17 mark overall.
McNeese has led the league in stolen bases the last three years and has ranked in the top 10 in the nation the last two seasons. In 2014, the Cowgirls topped the conference and rankeds 19th in the nation with 86 doubles and led the league with a .435 slugging percentage while setting single-season school records in runs scored and on-base percentage while tying records in triples and hit-by-pitches.
Landreneau coached and developed Alanna DiVittorio who broke a combined nine McNeese and Southland Conference records her senior season and was named the league’s player and hitter of the year for 2014.
DiVittorio also earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors that season to become just the second softball player in school history to earn the prestigious award.
The native of Mamou, La. resides in Lake Charles with his two children, Aubrey and Jackson.