When Hector Valencia stepped down as Burbank High head football coach Feb. 28, he hoped the school would find a suitable replacement for a program that has enjoyed its share of success in recent years.
Valencia, a Burbank graduate, was hoping the new coach would continue growing the program he worked so hard to help cultivate for five seasons.
His first choice for the new coach was longtime coach Richard Broussard, who had served as Valencia's assistant head coach last season. Valencia was overjoyed when Burbank Principal Mike Bertram announced Tuesday afternoon that Broussard was named the program's new head coach.
"It just makes me so happy that he got the job," Valencia said. "As an alumni, I think it is a great decision for the program and a great decision for the school. I trust the guy."
Broussard, 33, had been a coach in the Burbank program for six seasons, beginning in 2008. Along with being the assistant head coach, he also served as the offensive coordinator for the Bulldogs.
A close friend of Valencia, who plans to stay on with the program as an assistant coach, Broussard said he was honored to be taking over the reins at Burbank.
"I feel I've come a long way here at Burbank and I've been fortunate to learn a great deal under the coaching of coach [Valencia]," Broussard said. "It is just a great opportunity and I plan on treating it well. I feel blessed and I'm very happy about it.
"I know the kids were waiting to see what was going to happen with the program and they were very anxious to see what direction we were going. I hope now I can give them some stability and keep up the positive things that coach [Valencia] has laid down the last few years."
A graduate of Ontario High, Broussard played for the Jaguars before moving on and competing as a running back for Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga for two years and then at Missouri Valley for two years.
With spring practice only a few weeks away, Burbank wasted little time replacing Valencia. It took just 18 days for the new coach to be named.
Bertram said when all the candidates for the job were evaluated, Broussard was the clear choice to head the program.
"He has been with the program and doing the right things with our student-athletes for a number of years now," Bertram said. "It was really an obvious choice for us. He has great plans for the program and he knows the culture and the tradition of our school. What he's brought to our program over the years are some great things."
Broussard takes over a Bulldogs program that has thrived in recent years. Last season, Burbank finished 10-3 after a 5-2 Pacific League finish that tied it for second place. The Bulldogs then advanced to the CIF Southern Section Southeast Division semifinals — the program's first semifinal ascent since 1927.
In five seasons under Valencia, Burbank finished with a 37-20 record and a 25-10 mark in the Pacific League. Additionally, the Bulldogs advanced to the playoffs four out of his five seasons, compiling a 3-3 record in the postseason.
"We want to keep what coach Valencia started going," said Broussard, who is the brother of Steve Broussard, as assistant coach at Southern Methodist University and formerly an assistant at UCLA. "We want to hit the ground running and we want to maintain that success. We have some spots to fill for next year, but we also have some good players returning."
One person who knows Broussard is up to the task is Valencia.
"He is a very respectable person and he is the guy who is going to put in the time that is needed for the program to be successful," Valencia said. "He just works very hard and since I knew I was going to be stepping down, he is the one who's been running the program for the past several months.
"They made a great choice by hiring him. In fact, I don't think they could have made a better choice."