NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - “I am blessed. I try to downplay what I do. I just stand next to important people. That’s what I tell people.”
Louisiana state trooper Bryan Madden puts it mildly. On Saturday’s in the fall, he protects one of the biggest names in college football, Ed Orgeron.
At 6'4", 300 pounds, the former LSU football player is very effective at his job.
“I would hope so, I’m not just a bookend. I would hope the officer presence would deter anyone. The problem is, they see O all the time. Every week, on their television set. In person at the games. When they find themselves so close to him, they just have to touch, they have to hug. I have to maintain there’s fans, they’re not out to hurt him. No one likes yeah hanging on the neck,” said Madden.
LSU fans aren't the only ones Madden has to keep in-check.
“Coach O stays about 8-10 on a Monday. So gameday, a 15, we don’t even speak. Every once in a while, Coach O will give me an elbow right before we go out,” said Madden.
When O does lead the team out, that's when Madden gets to re-live his Purple and Gold glory days.
“1992, we’re playing Tulane. It’s going to be my last home game. My parents live in Indianapolis, they came in for the game. It’s going to be the last time I come out of the tunnel as a player, and seeing, hearing, feeling. Now I get to do it again every week. Or at least seven times a year. It’s still get’s you. It still get’s you,” said Madden.
The 2019 season was like no other at LSU. 15-0, never been done in Baton Rouge. Madden on the sideline for every game, trying his hardest to keep a straight face.
“There’s an undeniable pose with me. When it’s going good, or it’s going bad. Usually my arms are folded, and I’m holding myself really tight. Just to keep calm. That’s the hardest part about the job. No doubt about it, maintaining professionalism,” said Madden.
Madden prides himself on being stoic. Showing no emotion in front of the cameras after a big Tiger win. But, here at the Superdome against Clemson, he finally relented, enjoying the championship moment.
“I might’ve been behind a stage. Got my high-fives and hugs. It may have been me. But yeah I got excited. Yeah on the field. You’re talking about two SEC championships, playoffs, everything stayed the same. But I’m behind that stage, confetti is falling. I’m like this just happened,” said Madden.
With success, comes attention. Madden now possesses his own devoted fan club.
‘Aren’t you the guy that protects Coach O? My kids can’t wait to see you every week.’ I’ll get out of my truck at home games. I’ll have fans come up with their children, and take pictures with me. I do not sign autographs, I will take a picture. My autograph days are over.
Now when it comes to Madden’s Monday through Friday gig.
“I’m with the Governor’s protection team. I kind of play down when I get to LSU, then what I’ve been doing all week. Which is hyper-focused, don’t miss anything, watching hands. To just letting him enjoy himself. Like I said, Coach O likes to get involved. Get to touch, pass on the energy. So I have to let him do his thing.”
Madden is set to retire in three years from state police. That means his days of running out of the tunnel with Coach O will also come to an end. On the sidelines, or in the stands, Madden will continue to keep a unique bond with LSU's head coach.
“As a former player, I think he treats me different than someone else that didn’t play ball. Because he treats all former players special. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him. When we’re together, he knows I got his back, and if anything goes down, he’s got mine too.”