PJC women's coach Sean LeBeauf resigns to take assistant job at Arizona
May 9, 2013
PARIS, Texas -- Sean LeBeauf has resigned as athletic director and head women’s basketball coach at Paris Junior College to become an assistant women’s coach at the University of Arizona.
LeBeauf, 41, submitted his letter of resignation last week to PJC president Pam Anglin.
She said she took it to the PJC board of regents in executive session, but no action will be taken immediately.
“We’re not going to do anything right now (about hiring a new coach),” she said. “It’s going to be discussed at our May board meeting on the 20th.”
LeBeauf took over the PJC women’s program four years ago, guiding them to a 70-51 record. In 2011, he was made athletic director as well.
“We hate to see him leave. But it’s a really good opportunity for him, and we know this is what he wants, toward his career dream,” Anglin said. “He’s been great with the players here. He’s one of a kind.”
The PJC president said she’d known for a couple of weeks that LeBeauf might be leaving.
“I knew that they were talking to him, and he went out there last week,” she said the day after LeBeauf told her he was leaving.
LeBeauf said joining the Arizona program was something he couldn’t pass up.
“The opportunity to go from junior college to an NCAA Division I team, that doesn’t happen often,” LeBeauf said.
The Lady Wildcats’ head coach is Niya Butts, who played on two national championship teams for coach Pat Summit at Tennessee in 1997 and 1998. She has been the Arizona coach for five seasons.
LeBeauf will be one of three Arizona assistants. On court, he will be coaching the post players, he said. He also expects to spend a lot of time on the road, recruiting.
His last day at PJC will be May 9, and it will tug at his heart, he said.
“I’ve been here twice, you know. It’s almost like a second home. It definitely is a place I can call home. There’s a different kind of people here that you find many places. The people here are like family,” he said.
“We are extremely excited to add Sean to our staff,” Butts said. “He has a lot of coaching experience on all levels. He can do it all. He is a great basketball mind, he will be an asset on both sides of the ball and he will bring a lot of talent to the University of Arizona.”
At Paris Junior College, LeBeauf led the Dragons to the single-season record for wins and a national ranking. He coached an NJCAA All-American nominee, four All-Region XIV selections, five honorable mention All-Conference selections and two Freshman of the Year nominees.
“I am truly grateful for this opportunity,” LeBeauf said. “Opportunities such as this one do not come around often, especially one where the head coach shares your intensity. That was so evident when meeting Coach Butts. She is passionate about the game of basketball and this institution. It is not often that you see a Division I head coach carrying a backpack and a coaching packet on the recruiting trail, while moving from one court to the next. I am so looking forward to joining the Wildcat Family and helping build on an already incredible tradition.”
LeBeauf was an assistant to Bill Foy on the men’s basketball team in 2002-03, when the Dragons finished with a 26-7 record and runner-up in the Region 14 tournament, one game short of going to the national junior college tournament. At the time, it was the Dragons’ best record ever.
Anglin brought LeBeauf back in 2009 to take over the women’s basketball program. The next four seasons, the Lady Dragons went 70-51, including a school-best 24-6 in 2011-12.
Had two blue-chip recruits not changed their minds and gone elsewhere a few days before school, last year’s team would have been even better, LeBeauf lamented.
“As a matter of fact, one of them (Tiffany Johnson) ended up winning the national (NJCAA Division II) championship with Louisburg (N.C.) College in March. She scored 15 points and had 7 rebounds in the national championship game,” he said.
PJC’s women struggled throughout the season, but rallied late to clinch a spot in the post-season tournament that seemed unlikely for awhile.
He said his biggest regret is that he was never able to defeat Trinity Valley, the two-time defending national champion in junior college women's basketball.
The Lady Dragons took the Lady Cardinals to overtime twice over the past three seasons and let a 10-point lead slip away in the last four minutes of another game. TVCC still has never lost to PJC in women’s basketball.
LeBeauf played high school basketball in Boutte, La., and went on to play college ball for the nationally ranked team at the University of Montevallo, Ala., where he started on a team that finished with three consecutive 20-win seasons.
He had a rich coaching experience before coming to PJC.
He led the girls’ basketball team at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa to a city championship in his first coaching position. While there, he also coached a Tulsa AAU boys team to the national title one year and to a fourth-place finish the next.
In Louisiana, LeBeauf coached five seasons at two high schools, leading Archbishop Shaw High School to back-to-back state championship appearances in 2000 and 2001.
After his season as a Foy assistant, LeBeauf spent one year at Centenary College in Shreveport, followed by four years at Southern University, where the men won a conference championship and the 2006 Historical Black Colleges and Universities National Championship.