Fundraiser to be held for Bourgeois next week

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Paul Bourgeois was East Ascension's head football coach and athletic director for five years. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

Next week, the East Ascension faithful and members of the Gonzales community will get their opportunity to support former Spartan head coach Paul Bourgeois as he fights cancer for a third time.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., a fundraiser benefiting Bourgeois will be held at the UYSA and Gonzales Primary parking lot on 705 North Burnside Avenue.

Jambalaya dinners will be sold for $6 a plate, and there will be a silent auction. Furlow's Photography will also be there to take pictures of the kids meeting the Easter Bunny.

Bourgeois abruptly resigned as East Ascension head football coach and athletic director a few days after the Spartans' season ended with a first-round playoff loss to John Ehret.

He had coached the Spartans for five seasons--leading them to 31 wins, four playoff appearances, three postseason victories and a 3-2 record against archrival St. Amant.

Overall, Bourgeois has been coaching for 28 years. Prior to turning around a struggling Spartan program, he coached all over the state. His stops have included: St. Louis Catholic, West Monroe, Vidor, West Brook, Little Cypress, Sulphur and West Lake.

Bourgeois has been everywhere in Louisiana, but he was able to build a special bond with Ascension and its community in his five years coaching at East Ascension.

"I've been blessed to have been able to coach all over the state and in places that had great rivalries. I really thought these rivalries here in Ascension were the greatest in the state," Bourgeois said. "It was a lot of fun to coach here. It was a great experience."

Unfortunately, Bourgeois will now have to put coaching aside as he battles cancer for a third time.

He was first diagnosed with the disease back in 1982 when he was in high school. After getting through successful testicular cancer surgery and the chemotherapy treatments, he made a full recovery.

Bourgeois went on to play football at McNeese State and then began his 28-year coaching journey.

In 2008, Bourgeois was diagnosed with craniopharyngioma, a benign brain tumor. He was forced to have surgery once again, along with eight weeks of chemo.

Seven years later, the tumor has come back. Bourgeois recently had another brain surgery.

If you can't make it to the fundraiser on Feb. 6, you can still help Bourgeois in his fight against cancer by visiting his GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/7kjv96hu.