AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – For nearly 5 years Brandon Bourgeois and David Gaisford could be seen nightly on the football field, baseball diamond or basketball court. Both were coaches of youth sports. Both had sons and together they coached their sons in all three sports.
“It was very apparent that Brandon loved his boys and put their interest above anything else,” said David Gaisford. “I certainly would count Brandon as one of my closest friends, good guy.”
But that friendship came to a sudden end in late August. American Fork police came to Bourgeois’ home domestic violence call. They said Bourgeois was rushed to the hospital where he died several days later.
Thursday, his stepson, 27-year-old Jace Zeeman was arrested for manslaughter. A spokesman for American Fork police said they had to wait on medical reports before taking action.
“Alcohol was a big contributor as to what caused this altercation and the tough thing with any substance abuse it can cause good normal people to do things that they wouldn’t normally do,” said Sgt. Josh Christensen. “And I think that was what happened here.”
Bourgeois’ neighbor heard the commotion that night and was saddened over the death.
“Brandon was a great guy,” said Jeff Moyes. “He was always helpful. I had several repairs in my house and I would ask Brandon if he could help me out, just like ‘how do you do this?’ He would come over and would say ‘you need this part’ and say ‘let’s go to the store and get it.'”
But it was on the field where Bourgeois also left an impression. He coached his son in youth football, baseball and basketball.
And it got the attention of his community. Monday night, they came together for a fundraiser for his family and to honor a coach that will will no longer be blowing a whistle from the sidelines.
“I just find it very tragic,” said Gaisford. “Brandon was a friend and a great member of the community in American fork and he’s going to be sorely missed.”
Gaisford said an account has been setup for Bourgeois’ two sons at any Bank of American Fork. He said it’s listed under the name of Bourgeois’ mother who also is the boys’ grandmother.
Phillip Brandon Bourgeois Memorial Fund
Bank of American Fork
C/O Pam Kihlstrom UUTMA
Gaisford says the money will help make sure the boys can continue playing sports and perhaps there will be enough to send them to college.