After 43 years coaching the LSU gymnastics team, D-D Breaux announced Tuesday that she will retire.
She steps down with the longest coaching tenure in any sport in Southeastern Conference history.
In a video where she reads her retirement letter, Breaux explains how the coronavirus pandemic contributed to her decision.
D-D Breaux, who nurtured LSU’s gymnastics program from an unsteady beginning to a perennial championship contender that performed in front of …
"This silent but deadly pandemic we are facing will necessitate change in how we do everything, at least this next season, so I believe it is the best time to make a personal life decision," Breaux said. "I have never walked away from a challenge; and not doing so now, I am moving forward with this one, just in a different role."
Jay Clark, who was named co-head coach in 2019, will lead the team moving forward.
Watch the full video below. Can't see it? Click here.
Read the full retirement letter below.
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose"
It is with joy, love, peace, appreciation and some sadness, but no regret, that I announce to my LSU family and community that I am retiring from coaching, but not retiring from LSU. Coaching has filled my heart and life and has fueled my passion for 43 years; 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.
I have always told myself that I would know when it is time to make this most difficult decision. The gymnastics program was not built easily or without moments that jeopardized its very existence but each challenge was met with determination and enthusiasm. The program is in the most secure and positive position it has been in since its inception. Transition is difficult, but it is made much easier when you are confident that it is being left much better than it was found. I am confident that as great as it is now, it is destined for greater heights. LSU Gymnastics is one of the best and most powerful programs in the country with, most importantly, the most incredible fan support.
D-D Breaux’s year-by-year record at LSU
As LSU's head coach, I worked with the mantra, "Everything Counts." I have been committed to recruiting outstanding young women, building the finest training facility in the world, achieving high academic standards, growing the TAF scholarship endowment program, supporting our season ticket campaign, marketing this great program, and encouraging community service. LSU Gymnastics now enjoys the full support of the university, the athletics department and the athletics director. It has taken "GREAT VILLAGES" all along the way. Thank you all.
Why step away now?
This silent but deadly pandemic we are facing will necessitate change in how we do everything, at least this next season, so I believe it is the best time to make a personal life decision. I have never walked away from a challenge; and not doing so now, I am moving forward with this one, just in a different role.
Before our 2019 season, I asked that Jay Clark be named co-head coach in anticipation of this moment. Jay is a great recruiter and his coaching philosophy is demanding and produces excellence. I have confidence in my decision because the torch is being passed on to Jay. I also believe this is an opportunity for an aspiring young person to join the coaching staff. The 2020 team I am leaving is one of the most talented teams ever assembled, and it will be gratifying for me to watch them "climb the mountain" and plant the LSU flag at the TOP!
To step into LSU’s gymnastics practice facility is to pay a visit to D-D Breaux’s imagination.
Thank you to the talented women who chose to place their confidence in me and LSU, you are always a part of LSU Gymnastics legacy. I have had the privilege of coaching some of the best student-athletes in the country and I am proud of how they represent LSU and even more proud of the women they have become.
For 43 years, I have dedicated my life to LSU Gymnastics and to my children; they were part of every team, every practice and every competition. I am so proud to say that they have grown into great women and mothers during this journey. I am excited to be part of what is driving their lives and to play a much greater role in the lives of my fabulous grandchildren. My mother, who drove me to practice four times a week from Donaldsonville to Baton Rouge, made some of the clothes I wore for LSU competitions as an adult, passed away this past December. I cannot deny this expedited my thinking about this transition.
A Thank You!
My siblings, their children, and my close friends who have made this journey with me. When we had no one in the stands, I could always look up and see the Breaux Krewe in my section. I cannot thank them enough for the support they have always offered to me and this program.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT D-D BREAUX
To the unbelievable boosters and fans of this program – there are no words to express my gratitude and my love. You have filled the PMAC on many occasions and you helped us grow from double-digit season ticket holders to nearly 7,000 because of your love for LSU Gymnastics. Your faithfulness to our program and our amazing, young student-athletes will never go unnoticed. Thank you for not only creating a world-class environment in the PMAC but showing me love each and every time I see you on campus or out in the community. I will love you forever.
LSU has asked that I remain a part of the athletics department to do what I love doing – being an ambassador for the LSU Athletics. I do bleed purple and gold and know firsthand all of the great things that LSU athletics and academics mean to our state. You will see me out there passionately advocating for the university, city and state that I love. Thank you LSU for all you have done for me and the sport I love. There are so many people I want to thank that have been such an intricate part of my journey. That would take pages and I am confident I would leave someone out!!
"Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm!" Let's all get fired up and support all efforts to pull Louisiana and LSU through this trying challenge and let's WIN! Do What's Important Now!
I look forward to seeing y'all at the next gymnastics, football, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, beach, tennis, golf, swimming, track, soccer …… meet, match and game!