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Mr. Danny Broussard
|STM's Danny Broussard one win away from 1,000 for career
Nick Fontenot, The Advertiser, Dec. 28, 2019
Believe it or not, winning 1,000 games was always a long-term goal for Danny Broussard.
Well, maybe not at the very beginning of his basketball coaching career at St. Thomas More, which began as the freshman coach in 1982. But once he took over the varsity job from his brother, Rickey, in 1983, Broussard said he had lofty goals for what would turn into a Hall of Fame career.
“I was young back then and maybe a bit cocky,” said Broussard, now 60 and on the verge of his 1,000th win in his 36th season as the Cougars head basketball coach. “I did always sit down and write goals, and I thought I would like to win 500 games. Once I got to that, I figured let’s just double it up. It’s kind of a goal I set, but it’s never been about me. It’s always been about the kids.”
Brad Boyd, who is now the head basketball coach at Southside High, was one of those kids who played for the legendary STM coach. Boyd graduated from STM in 2000 and said the lessons he learned back then stick with him today as he tries to lead the Sharks to the same level of success as Broussard has led the Cougars.
“I tell my players all the time that there was never a situation when I played at STM where we didn't know what to do,” Boyd said. “No matter what other teams did against us, we were prepared. There’s so much knowledge we learned from that guy and when I played there, we rarely lost. We played how he wanted us to play and his style, and we were prepared. My guys here at Southside are the same way, and it all comes from Danny. We might not win all the games here, but we’re always prepared. We run a lot of the sets he runs, and it still works today.”
Broussard said he knows how lucky he was to end up with the STM job. When his brother Rickey was called to take the assistant coaching job at UL, Rickey went in to convince the administration that Danny Broussard was the right fit.
“When Bobby Paschal called me to coach at then USL, I figured it would be after the season,” Rickey Broussard remembered, “but he needed me immediately. I went to the administration at STM, and I told them not to promise Danny the job, but to let him coach until the end of the year. He knew all the plays, and I told them if he didn't do well, just get rid of him after the season. The rest is history.”
Danny Broussard said even after he had lucked into the job and led the Cougars to the playoffs in that first season, he thought it was going to be short-lived. The Cougars dropped the first playoff game under Broussard, and he said said he figured it was over.
“I did OK in that first season, but once we lost, I figured it was a good ride and the ride was over,” Danny Broussard said. “Everything worked out for me. Rickey took the UL job late so I could slide in. Had it happened in the offseason, they wouldn't have given me the opportunity.”
The STM administration stuck with Broussard, and he’s led the Cougars to four state championships and missed the playoffs only twice. Broussard said without the group of assistant coaches he’s had over the years, none of it would have been possible.
“I had Kim Broussard, Eric Mouton, Philip Brupbacher, Stephen Strojny and now Wes (Cortese) and Nick (Cortese),” Broussard said. “They all played for me with the exception of Kim. All of them would go to be head coaches. Nick and Wes could be head coaches now if they wanted to. I’ve been blessed with great assistants, and it has made my job a lot easier.”
Broussard said he was a “control freak” in his early years, which he regrets. He said the way he was in the ‘80s and early ‘90s prevented him from building those strong relationships with his former players that he holds so dear to his heart now.
“I was scared to get too close to the kids with my early teams,” Broussard said. “I was worried about them thinking I was their friend as opposed to their coach. I think those guys understand that, but I wish I would have developed those relationships early on.”
The wins mean a lot and the relationships mean even more, but one thing that Broussard said has a special place in his heart is the Sunkist Shootout, which has taken place at St. Thomas More annually since 1984. The tournament, which normally happens around Christmas, hosts 16 teams and has become one of the premier high school basketball event in Louisiana.
“We have to turn down teams every year because we can only have 16,” said Broussard, who will look to get his 1,000th career win against Ellender at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Sunkist Shootout. “We always have teams that want to come back, and we need to get new teams in and ask teams to take a year off, but I’m really proud of what we built. We feel like it’s one of the best tournaments around. No one else can equal what we do, and the coaches that are here appreciate it. They always call us and tell us it’s a first-class tournament.”
Opposing coaches, like Jake Dueitt from Teurlings, are always quick to commend Broussard for doing it the right way.
“He does everything like you’d want to do it,” said Dueitt, who has been at Teurlings for 16 seasons. “We compete against each other and always want to beat each other, but he’s definitely someone I can look up to and someone who does things the way I want to do them. He deserves everything he gets.”
Broussard’s legacy in basketball is in place, but Broussard said he is more concerned today with the legacy he lives as a grandparent. Now with two grandsons, Broussard said he puts into perspective the sacrifices his family has made over the years in order for him to be so successful.
“It took me this long to put my family first,” Broussard said. “My wife and my kids have been my biggest fans, and they come to all the games. I’ve been blessed with a great family and without their support, I couldn’t have been this successful and done what it took to build a successful program.”
Broussard said his health is good and his energy continues to be high, so it appears 1,000 wins isn’t the end for him. Broussard said there is no definite time table on when he plans to call it a career.
“I’m not saying two years or five years or anything like that," Broussard said. “I guess it’s going to be when I stop having fun. I’m having as much fun as I ever have right now. If my health holds up, I’m having too much fun to stop.”
* * * * *
STM's miracle win that shouldn't shock us
Kevin Foote, The Daily Advertiser, March 6, 2016
With over three decades of experience and 912 wins in his coaching career at St. Thomas More, Danny Broussard thought he'd seen it all.
In truth, he might finally be able to say that after what he witnessed Friday night in his Cougars' dramatic 53-52 overtime road win over Plaquemine.
It's a word we technically misuse in the sports world all the time, but many would place STM's win Friday under the 'miracle' category.
"You could definitely say that," Broussard said. "I had to watch the film Saturday morning to believe it ... to see how it actually happened."
To hear the details of the game described, it's certainly easy to understand how someone would classify it as a Hail Mary win. In fact, the likelihood of completely a bomb from 50 yards out into a crowd of defenders on the final play of a game might actually be higher than what the Cougars pulled off in this one.
Down by eight points with 1:48 left in regulation, the Cougars did what you have to do in that desperate situation. Foul, hope the opponent misses and try to score as efficiently as you can when you get it back.
The opponent - especially one as seasoned, motivated, focused and supported as Plaquemine was on its homecourt in this one - rarely cooperates as well as the Green Devils did on Friday. Plaquemine missed seven free throws in that final 1:48, but that only begins to tell the story.
The Cougars gave up offensive rebounds on two of them and wasted a chance to score in the final 30 seconds.
"For a while there, it just looked like the breaks weren't going to go our way," Broussard said. "I thought that (Devils' offensive rebounds) was going to kill us."
Typically, it would have, but amazingly not on this particular night. Apparently, for whatever reason, it was time for a 'miracle'.
The only other game in Broussard's recollection that approaches that level of beating the odds at this level was the St. Augustine quarterfinal win three years ago when STM overcame a 17-point deficit in the third quarter. But even that wasn't eight points in the final 1:48 with seven missed free throws.
"There were just so many obstacles in this one," Broussard said. "It just didn't seem like we could get a break and we couldn't get a call. Devante Benjamin got a clean strip and they called a foul to foul him out of the game. Trevor (Begue) even missed a layup. I don't know if he missed one all year long. It just didn't look like it was in the cards throughout the night."
But Nate Cox renewed hope in igniting the big rally with a huge 3-pointer and the turn down the unlikely comeback road that will be remembered for decades to come had been taken.
That comeback - to get it to overtime anyway - was completed by a dramatic driving layup by Jonathan Joseph.
"It was designed to attack the basket or kick it out (to Johnathon Cisse)," Broussard said. "Their coach probably told them not to foul to prevent the three-point play. They challenged him, but backed off a little bit at the last second to avoid the foul."
Then adding to the craziness of the comeback win, Broussard did something he still can't believe he did by calling a timeout with one second left.
"What a boneheaded play on my part," he said. "I've never done that before. Fortunately all they could do was get off a desperation three-quarter court shot."
At that point, though, the Cougars had still never owned a lead in the entire game. That didn't happen until a Begue layup in overtime.
"I kept telling the kids the whole game, 'Just get us a lead and the game is over,' " Broussard said. "It just didn't look like that ever was going to be able to happen."
Making the old-school coach in Broussard proud was how the comeback was actually culminated - with a kid learning from past failures. Twice earlier this season, Jude Joseph spoiled similar situations by starting his drive to the basket too quickly.
This time, with the team's season on the line, Joseph executed the play perfectly, leading to the pass to Will Vincent inside and ultimately the game-winning free throw with 1.7 seconds left in overtime.
"He learned from his previous mistakes," Broussard said. "He wasn't going to do it again this time. What a great job by that kid."
As unlikely as Friday's comeback was, however, it probably shouldn't shock us as much as it does.
When you get to that emotional, pressure-packed level as many times as Broussard's program has over the decades, the chances of something crazy, something memorable or even something miraculous get better and better.
Friday night's game was the program's 21st time in the state quarterfinals. The win made it 11 trips to the Top 28.
He's seen a 'miracle' loss in the state finals in 1987, more heartbreak during three straight quarterfinal losses to eventual state champions Winnsboro, McCall and Karr from 1992-94 and another gut-wrencher to Glen Oaks in 2005.
In other words, he knows exactly how Plaquemine felt when the Green Devils woke up Saturday morning.
Yes, Broussard's pretty much seen it all.
Especially after Friday night.
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