LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux retiring after 43 seasons

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU head gymnastics coach D-D Breaux has announced she will retire after a 43-season career during which the Tigers finished in the top 10 nationally 31 times.

Breaux’s LSU teams have finished as high as second nationally three times and in the top five eight times.

LSU gymnasts have combined to win 15 individual national titles and 44 Southeastern Conference titles under Breaux. LSU gymnasts also have been named All-America 266 times during Breaux’s tenure.

Breaux, 67, has been known not only for building one of the most successful gymnastics programs in the country, but also for galvanizing support among boosters and fans alike while turning gymnastics meets into popular spectator events on campus. Attendance has averaged 10,000 during the past four years.

“I’ve always told myself that I would know when it would be time to make this most difficult decision,” said Breaux, who retires as the longest-tenured head coach in any sport in SEC history. “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.”

Co-head coach Jay Clark will take over as LSU’s third head gymnastics coach.

“Jay was named co-head coach in anticipation of this moment,” Breaux said. “He 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.”

When Breaux began coaching LSU gymnastics in 1978, the team trained in the corner of a field house. The team now has its own spacious and modern training center that opened in 2016 and is widely regarded as one of the world’s best gymnastics facilities.

Breaux was named National Coach of the Year in 2014 and again in 2017, when she also was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

“She has had a generational impact on the student-athletes she has coached and mentored,” LSU athletics director Scott Woodward said. “With hard work and pure force of her will, D-D built a gymnastics program from the ground up into one that is now recognized worldwide for elite-level excellence.”

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