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Spotlight on Former Athlete: Rickey Broussard – Baseball 1967-70 & Coaches 1984-86

Broussard always could spot talent

 

 

By Bruce Brown

 

Written for Athletic Network

 

 

After all these years, Rickey Broussard is still on the road, recruiting talent.

 

His team is different now – State Farm Insurance instead of a college basketball program – but the eye for talent remains intact.

 

A native of Leroy and a product of Meaux High School, Broussard played infield for then-USL’s Ragin’ Cajun baseball program from 1967-70.

 

He was a successful high school basketball coach at Meaux, Fatima and St. Thomas More before serving as an assistant coach on Bobby Paschal’s Cajun squad from 1984-86.

 

Broussard answered the opportunity to run his own program when Nicholls State called in 1990, and his 12-year stay with the Colonels featured heights never before achieved by the Thibodaux school.

 

NSU appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 1995 – a first – and again in 1998. Three times the Colonels ruled the Southland Conference. The 10 middle years at Nicholls featured five winning seasons, including 1995’s stellar 24-6 mark.

 

He also spent three years as an assistant at LSU before entering the insurance business, where he has become one of the top recruiters of prospective agents in the nation.

 

I recruit agents; it’s something that kind of just fits,” Broussard said. “It’s been awesome for me. For four or five of my seven years with State Farm, I’ve been the top recruiter in the nation.

 

I work a lot of referrals and I’m on the road quite a bit. I’m still able to impact people’s lives. I help get them connected and create opportunities.”

 

It hasn’t been the life once mapped out for him.

 

Broussard’s father wanted him to be a lawyer, and for brother Brent (3 years younger) to be a doctor. But both became successful coaches, as did younger brother Danny (10 years behind Rickey), who played for Rickey at Meaux, later took over at STM and built a power at that Lafayette school.

 

I was in pre-law, and decided I wanted to major in coaching,” Broussard said. “I made the mistake of telling my dad at the beginning of the summer, and he didn’t speak to me all summer. It was rough.”

 

It was more attractive for Broussard to follow his love of athletics, a passion begun in childhood.

 

They would have tournaments at Meaux that would start at 8 on Saturday and last all day,” Broussard said. “Then I would draw up brackets to set up my own tournament and we would play on an outdoor court.

 

We only had basketball at Meaux. All the boys at school either played or were (team) managers. We went 38-2 my senior year. We lost in the state playoffs to Roanoke and Leonard Troutman.

 

For baseball we’d play Little League in Maurice. Our Babe Ruth team won state. And, we played American Legion. When we played, I always felt I had leadership skill born in me.”

 

Baseball offered the best athletic outlet once Broussard got to college at USL.

 

I played for Dan ‘Sonny’ Roy,” Broussard said. “My first year, I would get in games as a late-inning defensive replacement. Then our starting shortstop left the team, and I started the rest of the year.

 

I batted .300 that year. Then, my second or third year, Charlie Bordes came in and they moved me to second base.”

 

Like other teammates, Broussard was impressed by a wiry young pitcher named Ron Guidry, who would later win a Cy Young Award and two World Series titles with the New York Yankees.

 

Ron’s fastball was so fast, and it would rise,” Broussard said. “That made his curveball even better. Opposing batters would always take the first pitch against Guidry, and invariably when they did, they would then look over at the third base coach. We used to enjoy watching their reactions.

 

Ron had long arms, he was wiry and he had that whip.”

 

Playing baseball was enjoyable. When it came time to coach, though, basketball was Broussard’s game.

 

I was student-teaching at Comeaux, then went to Lafayette High, where (coach) Billy Montgomery had me scouting,” Broussard said. “I’d come back, and he would have me over to the house and we would talk basketball until 3 or 4 a.m.

 

I also got to know Rodney Ledoux while coaching junior high in Breaux Bridge for 3 years. I learned from two of the greats. I learned a lot from Bobby Paschal, too.

 

I loved developing players. I remember putting those chairs in the gym at Fatima, and working all summer with the kids. I had a passion for developing young players. I took pride in doing the small things. As I matured, I enjoyed treating games like a chess match.”

 

The desire to develop talent came in handy at Nicholls State, where Broussard notched a signature road win at Auburn and won conference titles.

 

I remember driving to Thibodaux to accept the job, and it was late April,” he said. “I recruited a point guard from Pineville named Ray Washington, who I’d seen dominate Morgan City. I went after him first, and he was a tremendous player for us.

 

Gerard King was another one. He was 6-6 when we had him, but grew to be 6-9, 245 and played 6 years in the NBA before an eye injury ended his career.

 

Reggie Jackson was 6-6, 240, and had tremendous hands. The only other player I coached with such good hands was Jerome Meaux at Meaux. Reggie was probably my best player. He was successful playing overseas.

 

Kendrick Franklin was another good player for us, along with (brothers) Jason and Russell McCutcheon. I saw something in players like that. I’d go to AAU tournaments and be that fly on the wall listening to other coaches. I would hang my hat on a player’s one strength, and develop the rest of him.”

 

Now there are other competitive fires to be stoked, different talents to uncover. But there is more, too.

 

My dream job was always to be the head coach at UL, but God has a plan for us all,” said Broussard, who lost his first wife Delphine in her 40’s and now lives in Thibodaux with wife Paula.

 

With her son and his three daughters with Delphine, the couple is blessed with eight grandchildren.

 

I’m at a point in life where things have changed a lot,” Broussard said. “I’m leading an open, honest life and I want to get involved and to give back.”

* * * * * * * * * *

Click here for Rickey Broussard and his 1967 Baseball teammates.

 

Below are the Cajuns 1984 Men’s Basketball team which made the NIT Final Four in New York.

 

Click here for Rickey Broussard’s Athletic Network profile.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Our rich athletic traditions were entrusted to the vision, hope, loyalty, and dedication of those former athletes and we will forever owe them a debt of sincere gratitude. May God bless each of them and their families.

Anyone with information, materials, pictures, memorabilia, etc., of the university’s former athletic program participants is requested to contact Ed Dugas at athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu Thank you.

The Photo Gallery Link located on the left side of the home page at www.athleticnetwork.net contains over 12,000 pictures of former and current athletes and support groups. Just click on photo gallery and when the menu appears, click on the sport or support group you wish to view. The years of pictures posted for that team or group will appear and you may click on the year you wish to view. One click on a thumbnail picture or narrative and it is enlarged; a click on the enlarged photo and it reverts back to the thumbnail.

The Athletic Network seeks to post pictures of each team and support group for each year they represented the university.

The stories of the previous honorees featured in the Spotlight on Former Athletes have been moved from the News Page to the Archived News Page. Please click on the title of any current news story, then the Archived News link in the upper left to go to the Archived News Calendar.

The Spotlight on Former Athletes announcement has also been placed in the profile of each honoree, excluding the pictures.

2014
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
January – focused on expanded photo gallery, including 60? additional videos of game/season highlights for Baseball, Basketball (M), Football, Softball, and Track & Field from 1962-2013.
February – Catherine Cassidy – Women’s Basketball 1993-94
March – Brandon Stokley – Football 1995-98
April – Rickey Broussard – Baseball 1967-70 & Coaches 1984-86

2013
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
May – Tennis Program – April 19-20 Reunion – Simmons, Cook, Albertine
June – Stefni Whitton Lotief –  Softball 1987-90, Coach 1995-97 & 2000-12
July – Tony Robichaux – Baseball 1984 and Coach 1994 – present
August – Jake Delhomme – Football 1993-96
September – Judi Ford Nash – Gymnastics & Trampoline 1967 & 68, Miss America 1969
October – Ursula Quoyeser – Softball & Volleyball 1981-84, Coaches 1984-86
November – USL Sweethearts 1960-81 – performance & service dance teams.
December – Michael Allen – Men’s Basketball 1991-94

2012
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
January – Ruthie Dugal, Women’s Basketball 1970-73, Volleyball 71-74, Coaching 1974 & 75.
February – Eric Mouton, Men’s Basketball 1987-92, Coaching 1994-97
March – Robert Dunphy, Baseball 1979-82
April – Dawn Broussard, Track & Field 1985-89
May – William C. "Trey" Coker, III Golf 1990-93
June – Danny, Baseball, 1977 & 78, and Meg Scopes Cook, Tennis 77 & 78, Coaches 78-84
July – Dr. Johnny Mack Hollier, Track & Field 1969-71 and Band 1969-71
August – John Bordelon, Football 1973-76
September – Courtney Hofland, Soccer 2006-2010
October – Anna Petrakova, Women’s Basketball 2001-05
November – Yvette Girouard, Volleyball 1972-75, Head Softball Coach 1981-2000
December – Byron Starks, Men’s Basketball 1990-94 and Coach 2007-09

2011
Bruce Brown continued as feature writer.
January – Ashley Rhoney and Bret Garnett 1988 Tennis
February – Craig Perks Golf 1989 & 90
March – Eddie Baseball/Basketball 60-63,Coach 67;Ross Mouton Basketball 03-07
April – Kim Eisnaugle Chaffin Softball 1983-86
May – Grady Labbe’ Hunt Track & Field 1989-1994
June – Mike Heinen Golf 1986-89
July – Kyla Hall Holas Softball 1991-94
August – Charles Wimberley Track & Field 1953-56
September – Chris Gannon Football 1984-88, Coaches 1995-2000
October – Anne Corbello, Soccer 2000-02, and Ashley Delahoussaye, Soccer 2000-04
November – Nia Kiggundu Volleyball 1993-96

2010
Bruce Brown became feature writer.
January – Andrew Toney Men’s Basketball 1976-80.
February – Orlando Thomas Football 1991-94.
March – Rocky Guidry Football 1990-93, Track & Field 1991-94.
April – Track & Field Network & March 20, 2010 1st Annual Track & Field Reunion.
May – Keisha Ray Owens Williams Track & Field 1991-96.
June – 2000 College World Series Baseball Team.
July – Thirty Years of UL Softball.
August – 1970 Cajuns Measured Up (Football).
September – Boxing Program (1930-1947).
October – Dr. Sam Foreman Baseball & Basketball 1940-42
November – Rhonda McCullough, Women’s Basketball 1986-90
December – Athletic Network-from concept to reality-its mission and practices

2009
Ed Dugas served as feature writer.
January – Tim Thompson Men’s Basketball 1957-61.
February – Gene Bacque Baseball 1956 & 57.
March – Dr. Louis Bowers – Tennis 1956-58, Track 1955, Coaches 1964-66.
April – Dr. Carter Lomax, Jr. Tennis 1974-76.
May – Johnny Morris, Jr. Football 1927-29,Men’s Basketball 1927-30,Track & Field 1928-30, Golf 1927-28, Coaches 1947-49 .
June – S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers I
July – S.L.I.I. Athletic Pioneers II
August – 1912 – A Special Year – First L’Acadien
September – Glenn Davis Lafleur Football 1966-69
October – Bill Bass – Boxing 1938 & 39, Football 1938-40, Coach 1971-75 & 1983
November – Tom Nolan – Cross Country & Track & Field 1971-76, Coaches 1978-83
December – Military Personnel – Military Page posted

2008
Ed Dugas served as feature writer.
January – Alvin Dark Football, ’43; Basketball, Baseball, Golf, Track, ’44; Coaches, 1947.
February – Alyson Habetz Women’s Basketball 1991-95 and Softball, 1991-94.
March – Ron Guidry Baseball 1968-70.
April – Edgar "Glynn" Abel Baseball 1939, Track & Field 1937-39, Football 1937-39.
May -Christian Keener "Red" Cagle Baseball 1925-26, Basketball (M) 1922-26, Football 1922-25.
June – Paul "Buddy" Short Golf 1962-65.
July – Louis "Louie" Campbell Boxing and Football 1940-41.
August – Dudley Wilkins Track & Field 1933-35.
September – Brad Hamilton Football 1963-66.
October – Brian Mitchell Football 1986-89.
November – Kimberly "Kim" Callaway Morvant Volleyball 1988-91.
December – Kenneth "Mike" Stansbury Weightlifting 1956 – 1957.

2007

Ed Dugas served as the initial feature writer and continued until Bruce Brown began writing in 2010.
June – Michael Langston Football 1973-77;
July – Hollis Conway Track & Field 1986-89;
August – Leigh Hennessy Gymnastics/Trampoline 1976-1980;
September – Dean Church Basketball (M) 1961-65;
October – Dr. David Fisher Football 1946-49 Track & Field 1947-50;
November – Kim Perrot Basketball (W) 1986-90;
December – John McDonnell Cross Country/Track & Field 1966-1969;


Peace, Ed Dugas

Ed Dugas, Research Coordinator
Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Network 
athleticnetwork@louisiana.edu 
(337)482-099