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RGV Basketball Coaching Legend Roy Garcia Dies at 80

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago Tuesday, June 21 2022 Jun 21, 2022 June 21, 2022 1:16 AM June 21, 2022 in Sports - High School
By: Alex Del Barrio

SAN BENITO - Roy Garcia, the legendary high school basketball coach who won over 600 games at Mission High and 712 total for his career, died at his San Benito home on Monday. The longtime coach was 80 years old.

Garcia came from humble beginnings as migrant farm worker, picking cotton with his family in the fields. He would later attend Los Fresnos High School and become a multi-sport star for the Falcons.

Los Fresnos would also be where Garcia would begin his coaching career after graduating from East Texas State University. He was an assistant football coach and head baseball coach for the Falcons, but his love was basketball. When Jerry Tomsu went to Mission High school to coach football in 1972, Garcia went with him to coach basketball and that's where the legendary career began. 

Garcia just a few years later would assume the role of Athletic Director, a rarity for a basketball coach in the state of Texas. Garcia coached basketball in an era where only one team made the postseaon and despite playing in a district with Harlingen and McAllen, perennial basketball powers, Garcia's teams would win five district titles in the old 28-4A.

From 1975-1984, Garcia's Eagles won 20 games or more in 10 consecutive years and made the playoffs in seven of nine seasons. 

Garcia had many great teams through the years, but in an era where the RGV struggled in basketball beyond the opening round of the playoffs, Garcia's teams were scrappy and made things difficult for their out of area opponents.

After leaving the bench at Mission High after the 2000 season, Garcia retired briefly before taking over at San Benito, a program that had not had basketball success in decade. Garcia led the Greyhounds to the playoffs for the first time in 46 years.

Garcis picked up his 600th win in 2007 when he beat his alma mater Los Fresnos. He would then continue his coaching career after briefly retiring again when he joined PSJA Southwest as head coach. 

Garcia would be inducted in the RGV Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Texas High School Coaches Hall of Honor in 2015 before being inducted into the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016. 

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