October 4, 2002 changed Desie Breadon's life forever. On that day, his older brother Gavin, just 29 years old, passed away from a heart attack. Desie idolized Gavin. Growing up, Desie followed him around and wanted to grow up and be like his older brother. Gavin was a main reason why Desie competed in sports (wrestling, football, swimming, track & field), went to Central College, and got into Exercise Science and Coaching. Gavin made a tremendous impact on everyone he met, but, he made even more of an impact on his immediate family. Please see trailer below for For Gavin - a story about the impact the late Gavin Breadon had on his younger brother, Desie. For Gavin premiers Tuesday, December 14th at the links below. I am also releasing an episode on Wednesday, December 15th that talks about the rest of Desie's life:
When I initially met with Desie, we did not plan on creating a separate episode talking about the impact that Gavin had on Desie, but it was a common thread throughout our conversation and I felt like it needed its own episode.
The Breadon family has been a staple of the Monroe community since the late 1970's. I have known the Breadon family for most of my life. Gavin, Enda, Eoin, and Desie were all involved in the wrestling community here in Monroe and my brother, Chad, actually coached Desie in high school. Wrestling was a sport that Gavin was passionate about. After high school, Gavin wrestled at Central College and had a great career. He eventually started the Monroe Mat Rats, a youth wrestling organization, right here in his hometown. Gavin enjoyed giving back to the community that gave him so much. I had the privilege of wrestling for Gavin for the first few years of my wrestling career. Desie also got involved in Mat Rats when I was in middle school. Desie, my brother, Chad, Aubrey McNett, and Ryan Pickett coached our middle school wrestling team. As I reflect back on my wrestling days, the impact that those four made on me was tremendous. They knew how to push me to greater heights and left an indelible mark on my life.
Gavin's legacy lives on through the Gavin Breadon Memorial Youth Wrestling Tournament, the Gavin Breadon Memorial Swim Meet, the Gavin Breadon Memorial Scholarship, and more.
Desie followed in his brother's footsteps and attended Central College in Pella, Iowa, after a brief career as an Iowa State Cyclone wrestler. He had the fortune of wrestling episode two guest, Chris Bono, in practice and, lets just say, he has some stories! Central College became an important piece of Desie's story. It was there that he heard of his brother's passing. After that, he had to lean on teammates, friends, coaches, and counselors to work through the grief process of losing someone so close. The connections Desie built and forged while at Central College helped him get through his darkest days.
Desie eventually moved back to southern Wisconsin and opened his own gym in New Glarus.
When he moved back, he knew he wanted to get involved in youth sports. He spent some time coaching wrestling and track & field, but his heart led him to football. As a competitor, Desie would pick wrestling every single day. But, when it comes to coaching, football reigns supreme. The opportunity to impact and influence so many student-athletes excites him. Desie has coached at New Glarus/Monticello, Edgewood High School, and Black Hawk/Warren. He's now the Head Coach at Black Hawk, just the third Head Coach in Black Hawk/Warren history. He was an assistant his first two years at Black Hawk and they won state titles both of those years. Expectations are high for Black Hawk/Warren, but Desie is ready to keep the winning tradition alive. Desie is also a fifth grade teacher in the Black Hawk school district.
Family has always been important to Desie. He wouldn't be here without the support and guidance
he's received from his parents and brothers. He wouldn't be making the impact he is on others without his wife and children. His wife, Tara, is the ultimate coaches wife. She has been so supportive and understanding of Desie's pursuit of impacting others. Family is everything to Desie.
Desie talks about his high school, college, career, and family journey in part two of his episode, releasing on Wednesday, December 14th. Below are links to YouTube, Spotfy, and Apple Podcast. The video version lives on YouTube and the audio versions are on all of the podcast platforms.
Desie - thank you for opening up and sharing your journey with me. The impact that Gavin had on your life was tremendous. I'm thankful for everything you've done for me and my family too. Keep impacting others and keep living for Gavin.