Finding a perfect fit in his faith
John Broussard finds a solid mix of sports and faith at Linfield Christian Academy
John Broussard knew that basketball could take him places, he just didnt expect it would be on a snowmobile crossing the frozen waters of Alaska. But that is where he found himself shortly out of college as head basketball coach for 1A Kotlik High, leading a pack of snowmobiles on a road trip in the Great White North.
Were out there on the ice travelling like a bunch of nomads, Broussard said. On the way back were moving at 50 miles per hour and the ice is starting to break in places. Its one of the scariest things that Ive ever been involved with.
With travel difficult, high school teams often fly into town and will play three or four games over the course of a weekend before returning home. Advance planning was also needed for every day life in a place where a trip to the grocery store is made in a single-engine plane.
The crazy thing about Alaska is that there are no roads. You are flying from village to village, Broussard said. Im sitting there next to the pilot just the two of us like Im his co-pilot. We came in to land and I saw a box at the end of the runway. It was our meat order it was colder outside than it was in your freezer.
Newly married, Broussard and his wife Tiffany (Rush) spent two years in Alaska John coaching the varsity boys and Tiffany coaching the girls squad. Broussard won back-to-back conference titles and taught at the elementary school.
The couple experienced a polar shift in weather with a move to Temecula, Calif., near San Diego where Broussard moved into an administrative role at Linfield Christian Academy where he has spent the last six years stepping in to help coach everything from basketball to cross country. He will serve as the K-12 schools Athletic Director during the upcoming school year.
We want to build champions for life and champions for Christ, Broussard said. Im a guy who if I won the lottery, Id still go to work tomorrow. Ive been able to dedicate my life to athletics. Its a big part of who I am and has taught me a lot about life.
Working in a faith-based environment is important to Broussard, who traces his spiritual roots to his parents.
My mom (Dayna) is the most spiritual person I know, Broussard said. She taught me that whatever challenge you face in life it serves a purpose.
Broussards leap of faith came during his sophomore year at Linfield College when suffered a broken ankle that kept him off the basketball court. Frustrated and feeling lost, he found himself being short-tempered with friends.
That just wasnt like me, Broussard said.
He was met with a dream that had him swish a winning shot and celebrate by embracing his dad (Eldridge), who had passed on during Johns childhood.
I woke up crying, but knowing I had to continue on my journey, Broussard said.
The next day, he received a letter from a lady who knew his father in college and remarked on how well his dad had carried himself. The envelope also included some photos of his dad playing basketball wearing the jersey number 30.
I didnt really know anything about my dad playing, but there he was in the same number I had always worn, John says. That was the moment when my faith became unshakeable.
His college coach Larry Doty also played an important part in Johns transition to manhood.
He taught me to welcome frustration in life because it meant a breakthrough was about to happen, Broussard said. A lot of people turn around because they are afraid of that pain, but its those times that make you stronger, smarter.
Broussard finished out his college career alongside high school teammates O.J. Gulley and B.J. Anderson a trio that continues to seek each other out at least once a year for an informal reunion. Broussard remains among the all-time leaders in minutes played and 3-point shooting at Linfield.
That trio also led Reynolds High to back-to-back Mount Hood Conference titles in 1998 and 99, reaching the state quarterfinals their senior season.
I still take a lot of pride in that, Broussard said.