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D-D Breaux’s Record Setting 42nd Season


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D-D Breaux’s record-setting 42nd season at LSU opens with win over No. 8 Cal

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D-D Breaux walks into Gymnastics 101 ahead of the 2019 season. (Photo by LSU Athletics.)
D-D Breaux walks into Gymnastics 101 ahead of the 2019 season. (Photo by LSU Athletics.) 

All 10,788 fans in the PMAC let out a roaring applause as LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux walked out onto the floor. 

Donning a bedazzled tiger-striped blazer, the PA announcer informed the crowd that Breaux was now officially the longest-tenured SEC coach regardless of sport.

The 2019 campaign is Breaux’s 42nd year at the helm of LSU gymnastics, passing up Kentucky men’s basketball coach Adolph Rupp, who led the Wildcats for 41 seasons from 1930-1972. 

“A lot of people have come before,” Breaux said Friday (Jan. 4). "A lot of student-athletes, a lot of coaches have come and gone in other sports. It’s the foundation. The culmination of everything that has piled on top of it. There were so many battles. It was never, ever easy until it became fun.

“It has been fun. The positive support that we have. Just the emotional outpouring of what a great job your whole village does. We have such a great group of people who put it together for these kids. I love LSU. I love the state of Louisiana. I come to work every day with enthusiasm. I know that nothing great has ever been achieved without enthusiasm. If I’m not excited about what they’re doing every day in the gym, then who’s going to be excited about it?”

No. 4 LSU opened Breaux’s 42nd season with a win over No. 8 Cal — but it didn’t come easy. LSU failed to achieve the 197-point mark for the first time since 2014. 


LSU had 39-straight meets with 197 or more points heading into the 2019 season opener. 

“Disappointed, 197 is a benchmark for us.” Breaux said. “But it’s more important that we competed hard and got these meet back to 0-0 at the half and turned the meet around.”

The Tigers started vault, their first rotation, with the event lowest score since 2014 against BYU. By the end of the first rotation, LSU found itself in a hole after Ruby Harrold and Sarah Edwards both fell on their landings. 

But LSU made it up on bars after scoring a 49.350 on uneven bars. Harrold bounced back from her vault and posted a 9.95 to lead all gymnasts in the event. 

“They’re resilient. They’re fighters,” Breaux said of how the team fought back. "They’re words that we talk about in practice and in our team meetings all the time. To win the big ones, you gotta have consistency. Consistency wins. We lost a little consistency tonight, but we also learned a lot about ourselves and as a team. They can fight and come back and they’ll never give up.


LSU pulled away from Cal in the last two rotations. 

But the standout performance was McKenna Kelley’s floor routine. Kelley missed all of her junior season after rupturing her Achilles tendon before the 2018 season. 

She was welcomed back to the PMAC during introductions with what were some of the loudest cheers of the night. 

“I would catch myself in practice in the gym reminding myself, personally, what I’m working for in this comeback and it’s Tiger Nation,” Kelley said. “There’s no better feeling than representing these three letters on my chest and to have such a team and a lineup that goes before you and hits consistently, that’s what instills the confidence. Competing for this school, it’s a dream come true.”

Kelley said she was most focused on going out there and hitting her lone routine of the night. 


And she did. Kelley pieced together a routine that received a 9.90 from the judges — which, yet again, made the PMAC erupt in jubilation. 

“Resilient is something I’ve said that this team is for sure and I think we proved that tonight,” Kelley said. “I could not be more proud of those new faces that stepped up. If this is our starting point, I’m very excited to see where we can go.” 

LSU hits the road to face No. 14 Auburn on Friday, Jan. 11. The gymnastics team returns to the PMAC the following week on Jan. 18 to host No. 3 Florida.

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