Household name

Rylee Beardsworth

Becoming a household name is something that takes hard work and dedication, but it comes with memories and respect.

One of the most well known and respected family names in the halls of Xavier High School is that of the Breitbach family. At Regis High School, Dick Breitbach was the assistant varsity football coach for 28 years, the sophomore basketball coach for six years, basketball varsity coach for 20 years and the sophomore baseball coach for three years. Once Xavier opened, he became the assistant freshmen football coach for five years and the head varsity basketball coach for six years. His son, Dick Breitbach Jr., became his father’s assistant varsity basketball coach at Regis for five years and at Xavier for six years. Today, Dick Jr.’s youngest son and the grandson of Dick Breitbach, Jack Breitbach, walks the halls of Xavier and is a senior on the varsity basketball team. Jack plays point guard, just like his father and grandfather did all throughout high school.

Jack has been very involved in basketball from a young age due to his grandfather’s and father’s coaching positions. 

“I started messing around with basketballs as soon as I could walk, but didn’t start playing until I was about five,” Jack said. “When my dad coached at Xavier, I would always go to practice with him and he is the one who got me into it.”

Basketball has always been a fun pastime for Jack and his father.

“When he was younger, Jack and I would take on Ben [X12] and Morgan [X14] (his older brother and sister) [who also played basketball during their time at Xavier] and we had battles. Jack never backed down, even though he was seven and five years younger than them,” Dick Jr. said. “Every once in a while when we got down a few points, I would have to tell him to pass the ball. He loved to chuck it up there.”

Basketball connects the whole Breitbach family, including the extended family.

“Jack has a lot of uncles and cousins that love basketball, and at holidays, we’ve had some intense games of ‘knock-out’,” Dick Jr. said.

Throughout Jack’s life, his grandparents were his biggest fans on and off the court.

“It was a pleasure being around Jack during his growing up days. He would come to our house after school and most days we would play SORRY! or a card game. It was fun being there for him as he matured,” Dick said. “We attended most of Jack’s seventh and eighth grade basketball and football games, and when possible, attended his AAU summer league tournaments.”

Through the generations of athletics that have coursed through the veins of the Breitbachs, they have learned many lessons on the way, including some that Jack still learns from his grandfather when he goes to his house on Thursday nights to watch college basketball games.

“Work hard, be disciplined, be a good teammate. If you do all those things, you will be successful even if the scoreboard doesn’t always reflect it,” Dick Jr. said. “I learned these from my dad [Dick] and hopefully have done a decent job passing them on to all of my kids.”

Basketball is not the only tradition that is strong in the Breitbachs, so is Catholic Schools. Dick taught social studies at Regis for four years and theology for three years. He also served as assistant principal for 30 years and principal for four years. He believes that important lessons can be learned from many different parts of Jack’s life.

“I would hope that Jack learned these lessons from his basketball days and his Catholic education: be kind to all your friends and classmates, be a sharer and a giver, be a hard worker in all you do in life, never give up and be committed to God, Jesus and your family,” Dick said.

These traditions have strengthened the bond of the Breitbachs that will hold them together forever.

“Athletics have the ability to teach so much about life and it has meant so much to my family over the years,” Dick Jr. said. “To see that Jack has that same passion has meant a lot and it has created a bond that can’t be taken away. Very good memories.”

Come watch Jack and his teammates as he upholds his household name when they play Marion on Monday, February 22 at Marion at 7:00 p.m.