Louisiana State University fans were swept with a whirlwind of emotions on August 4th, 2020, when D-D Breaux announced the end of her 43 year reign as the head coach of Tiger’s Gymnastics.
In 1977, Breaux stepped into her coaching position at LSU, transforming a teetering program into a national powerhouse almost immediately. As the longest tenured coach of any sport in Southeastern Conference history, it was no surprise when she was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
After two National Coach of the Year awards, 35 consecutive NCAA regional appearances, 15 individual national titles, and four SEC Championships, her legacy will be long remembered. Throughout the years she trained 260 All-American athletes, seven who received SEC Gymnast of the Year awards. She leaves her coaching career with an overall record of 802-425-7.
“I’ve always told myself that I would know when it would be time to make this most difficult decision,” Breaux said in a statement. “This program was not built easily, but it is now in the most secure and positive position it has been since its inception. LSU Gymnastics is one of the best and most powerful programs in the country with, most importantly, the most incredible fan support.”
In anticipation of her retirement, she elected Jay Clark to serve as the co-head coach for the 2019-2020 season.
“D-D stepping down marks the end of one of the most storied and decorated careers in LSU sports history,” Clark said to ESPN. “After fighting countless battles for her program and for women in sport generally, D-D leaves a legacy and impact that has affected countless in this community and the state of Louisiana. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have served side by side with her for the last eight years.”
Breaux has assured her gymnasts and Tigers fans that she will continue to be an ambassador within the athletic department. However, her unwavering confidence in Coach Clark suggests the program will continue down its dominant path.
“Coaching has filled my heart and life and has fueled my passion for 43 years;” Breaux said in her sendoff. “Leaving will be difficult. While I may be changing how I express my passion for LSU Gymnastics and our university, I can assure you I will continue to express it.”
It is a bittersweet farewell to one of the most storied coaches in all of gymnastics. While her insight and experience will be missed, the LSU community and the countless gymnasts who trained under Breaux are forever grateful for her deep commitment to the development and success of Tiger’s gymnastics throughout the years.