LSU’s D-D Breaux named gymnastics coach of the year

After capping arguably the best season in her program’s four-decade history Sunday, LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux and her two full-time assistants, Jay Clark and Bob Moore, have been honored by their peers nationwide.

On Monday, Breaux was voted National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women, while Clark and Moore shared national assistant coach of the year honors.

It’s the first national coach of the year honor for Breaux, who wrapped up her 37th season as Tigers’ head coach this weekend at the NCAA championships in Birmingham, Ala. She was runner-up in 1988 for the award, which is voted on by all Division I women’s gymnastics head coaches.

It’s also the first national award for Moore, who just completed his 15th season on Breaux’s staff. Clark was previously honored as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2006.

Breaux, Clark and Moore, along with volunteer assistant Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, led LSU to the highest national finish in the history of the program Saturday night when the Tigers claimed third place in the Super Six finals with a score of 197.600.

It was the 13th consecutive competition in which LSU scored at least a 197 this season, shattering the old school record of eight in a row.

Overall, the Tigers hit that mark 14 times in 15 outings en route to earning the nation’s top ranking for a three-week stretch in late February and early March. It was the first time LSU had achieved a No. 1 ranking in the sport since 2005.

After being ranked fifth in the preseason, LSU ranked no lower than third during the regular season and was seeded third for the NCAA championships.

“To be selected by your peers is truly a very gratifying award,” Breaux, who earlier was named the Central Region Coach of the Year, said in a news release. “I am honored that coaches around the country recognized the outstanding work our team has accomplished all season.

“I am extremely proud that Jay and Bob could earn this award together because they are two of the finest coaches in the nation,” she said.

LSU broke the school’s all-time scoring mark three times this season.

The Tigers scored a 197.875 on Feb. 15 at the Metroplex Challenge to break the old mark of 197.850 that stood for nine years, then topped that with a 198.050 against Missouri on Feb. 28.

They shattered that mark a month later when they won the NCAA Baton Rouge regional with a 198.325, which tied the highest score in the nation this season, and qualified for the national semifinals for the 25th time in Breaux’s tenure.

Clark coached the bars lineup to the No. 1 ranking in the region and No. 5 national ranking with a school-record 49.430 regional qualifying score. Moore coached the vault lineup to the No. 1 national ranking with a school-record 49.550 RQS.

Under Moore’s tutelage, junior Rheagan Courville shared the NCAA individual vault title for the second straight season Sunday. It was the fourth national vault title in LSU history — all under Moore.