Photo by Kleinpeter Photography

In Character: D-D Breaux

CONSIDERING, this head coach for LSU gymnastics has been defined by her relentless pursuit of excellence and her enthusiasm and determination in every new task that she undertakes. She’s won countless honors and awards over the years, and she has a reputation of producing athletes who go on to do well academically and professionally.

CONSIDERING, she just finished her 39th season with LSU gymnastics, leading the team to the university’s highest finish in the NCAA sport. The fact that her team was edged out of the title by Oklahoma does not dampen her spirits or deter her drive. “I can’t find fault in anything that the kids or staff did. We lost by a fraction, and everyone had great meets. We could all really sense that the crowd was with us, and that’s a really fulfilling feeling.”

CONSIDERING, she is dedicated to the young women in her program, and she considers them family. “We spend more time with these kids than anyone else in their lives does at this time. We get to know them, and we love them. It’s the culture of our program. I’ve gotten texts from girls that say “I love you. Have a great day!”

CONSIDERING, academics is a priority for her. She makes sure that all of her athletes give everything they can to increase their class efforts. “I’m passionate about the fact that we don’t need to just recruit great athletes but great scholars. We must be able to compete academically to get the best student athletes on our campus.”

CONSIDERING, she was also passionate about making LSU gymnastics a national contender—and this meant getting a safe, efficient training facility. She credits LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva for recognizing the need and working with her toward this goal. After two years of construction, doors opened in February on the new state-of-the-art facility built exclusively through the use of private donations. “We now have the finest in the country, if not the world.”

CONSIDERING, she was raised in Donaldsonville as one of seven children and began her dance and gymnastics instruction at a Donaldsonville pilot location of Baton Rouge’s Powell-Moise School of Dance. When she began training in the Capital City, her mother had to drive her, using the White Castle ferry to cross the river, up to four times a week to practice. As a sophomore in high school, she joined the Southeastern Louisiana University gymnastics program and competed.

CONSIDERING, even after all these years, she never gets bored with the sport. “I love the challenge and the discipline gymnastics requires. To do a certain skill, you must become so driven—you have to become one with what you are doing.”

CONSIDERING, she unwinds by working in the yard. She also loves to fish and kayak at her camp in Grand Isle. She has two daughters and two grandchildren who live in town and who she loves dearly.

CONSIDERING, going into her 40th season, her goal is clear: “I want to win a national championship for LSU.” She is proud of her legacy and proud of the girls who have come through the doors of her program. And her spirit shows it. “Nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm. I guess the day that I am no longer enthusiastic about gymnastics will be the day I know that I’m done.”