July 1, 2016 11:12 AM

A pair of popular Lafayette basketball coaches will sling cocktails for a great cause.

Danny Broussard, left, and Garry Brodhead
Photo by Jay Faugot

Coaches Garry Brodhead and Danny Broussard go further back than the threepoint line; but come July 14, they’ll be competing to raise funds for breast cancer research.

The UL Lafayette head women’s basketball coach and St. Thomas More Catholic High School boy’s varsity basketball coach, respectively, will dish out drinks and charm guests at Grub Burger Bar on Kaliste Saloom to see who can raise the most tips. A portion of their earnings will go to Susan G. Komen of Acadiana. With the event just weeks away, the celebrity barkeeps are already sizing up the competition.

“I’m pretty funny,” Broussard says, laughing. “I’m funny to look at, I’m funny to listen to, so I think my humor might be my big selling point. Garry is a much better-looking young man than I am. He’s better looking and he’s taller; he’s tall dark and handsome and I’m short, ugly and not handsome so I got a lot going against me, but I’m going to use my personality and my humor to try to overcome all my shortcomings.”

Broussard says he’s worried about mixing drinks; but Gretchen Daniel, area director for Komen Acadiana, says the coaches will do more dancing than drink pouring.

“We’re going to have other bartenders behind them. (The coaches) are basically there to get the crowd going,” she says.

Brodhead’s wife, Andrea, died of cancer in September 2015 after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and treated via chemo and double mastectomy. But the cancer returned. From supporting her husband’s team to spearheading Acadiana’s biddy basketball program and the Acadiana Stars AAU basketball organization, Andrea boasted a family of more than 200 athletes.

Started locally in 1999, Komen reaches 19 parishes and has invested $3.4 million into the community and $1.04 million into breast cancer research.

Every two minutes, a Louisiana resident is diagnosed with breast cancer. Louisiana also holds one of the highest rates of breast cancer mortality in the U.S.

Broussard, a family friend, is credited as the force behind Brodhead’s entry into coaching. Originally a farmer who sold pickles to Burger King, Brodhead longed to coach, and Broussard, who recognized his friend’s desire, prompted him to go to school, which led to a successful run coaching the Teurlings Catholic High School basketball team and, eventually, the UL Lafayette women’s basketball team.

“He’s just had such a past for basketball like I did; you know, we have so much in common,” Broussard says. “That’s why I knew right then and there, I said, ‘Man, I know he’ll make a great coach; there’s no doubt in my mind.”

Through fundraisers and awareness like the Dueling Bartenders event, Komen’s mission is to empower and save lives and find a cure for breast cancer.

“It’s a great way to have a little fun and enjoy yourself while it raises money,” Broussard says. “It’s just makes it a little bit more fun than, you know, just giving $100 or whatever they’re gonna give.”

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