Saints, Pelicans president leads New Orleans as a Loyola alumnus


New Orleans Saints and Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha (RIGHT) sits next to the Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson (LEFT) at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Gayle and Tom Benson Athletic Complex at Delgado Community College. Lauscha got his masters of buisness administration at Loyola. Layne Murdoch Jr./New Orleans Saints

Gabriella Killett

President of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Dennis Lauscha, a New Orleans native, took on the role of Saints chief financial officer before becoming the president of the NFL and NBA teams in 2012 upon the purchase of the New Orleans Pelicans.

“It was kinda cool for a kid from Marrero,” he said.

Lauscha, a Jesuit High School graduate and a Loyola University New Orleans graduate school alumnus, left home after high school to attend the University of Alabama for a bachelor’s degree in healthcare management.

Lauscha thought he was going to work in a hospital one day and moved back to New Orleans after his college graduation to look for work in the city’s healthcare industry. Once back home, Lauscha decided to go back to school.

“It seemed at the time if you were going to succeed and eventually become successful in that area you had to get a graduate degree, so I went and started looking around and at the time, Loyola fit everything I was looking for,” he said.

Lauscha went to school at night to work toward his master of business A]administration while working in the healthcare industry during the day.

Just before graduating with his MBA, however, Lauscha said he fell in love with accounting in one of his classes at Loyola.

“I was graduating in December, and one of my last classes was accounting, and I had a great accounting professor,” he said. “She was outstanding, and for me, in that class, it was like the whole profession of accounting just clicked.”

Once being hired for an accounting job with a local firm, Lauscha said he began to audit for the Saints.

“I continued on not only doing the salary cap audit but I started doing the team’s audit, the financial statement audit, and I did that for about four years, and I had really built a rapport with the then CFO and treasurer, Bruce Broussard, and in many ways, we worked very closely together, and he became a bit of a mentor for me.”

Shortly after Broussard and Lauscha established their relationship, however, Broussard was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lauscha said since Broussard was going to have to retire, he got a phone call asking him to interview for the job.

“I was like there is no way I’m going to become the treasurer of the New Orleans Saints at 28 years old. Lo and behold, they offered me the job, I took the job, and I became the treasurer, and Bruce was able to continue as my mentor for about a year, a year and a half, until his sad passing. With his help, I was able to succeed here.”

Lauscha noted that some of his proudest moments with the Saints have been the little things.

“[Winning the] Super Bowl is the easy answer, but it’s the day to day things that we’re really proud of,” Lauscha said. “We work in a very competitive industry, and our name and our results are literally in the paper or in the media every day, so we get a report card every single day and by in large, that report card has been very very good for a very long time, so I’m proud of that too.”

As a New Orleanian, Lauscha said he feels especially inclined to do everything he can for his home team.

“I grew up as a die hard New Orleans Saints fan, and to be honest with you, I grew up as a die hard Jazz fan too when we had the NBA basketball team here, and one of the saddest days of my life as a kid was the day the Jazz moved from New Orleans, and I distinctly remember that, and I always say to myself, ‘That’ll never happen under my watch,'” Lauscha said.

Lauscha said the mission of both the Saints and Pelicans’ organizations is to impact the city of New Orleans in a positive way.

“We want people to feel that way- that it’s so much bigger than the football and basketball teams because we represent the community,” he said.

Lauscha noted that in his time working with the Saints a lesson he first learned at Loyola has become useful to him.

“One of the things that was really impressed upon me was that you really never stop learning, and I know that everyone says it, but they really laid the seeds for me about never stop learning and always push education and always push your employees around you to continue to educate themselves, and that’s something that really impressed me then and it still impresses me today, an environment of continuous improvement, an environment of continuous learning,” he said.