By: JOHN CANNON
(BROWNSVILLE) – The living legend of soccer in the Rio Grande Valley is coming out of retirement and is returning to the sidelines.
Juan De Dios Garcia, who spent over 30 years as head soccer coach at Brownsville Hanna High School, returns to the soccer field as he accepted the job as the head man at Brownsville St. Joseph Academy.
De Dios Garcia is one of the most highly decorated coaches in all of the Rio Grande Valley, as well as in the state of Texas as he has built himself quite an impressive resume. While at Hanna, De Dios Garcia led the Golden Eagles to the playoffs for 20 years and had seven trips to the regional tournament as well.
In 1990, De Dios Garcia and Hanna finished the year with a 19-3-1 record and advanced all the way to the UIL State Semifinals while losing an instant classic to Tyler Lee by a score of 4-3. The ending of the game was one that most experts will never forget as it went into a 22-player shootout with Tyler Lee finally pulling out the win.
De Dios Garcia decided to retire in 2012 and finished with an impressive 437-206-66 overall record.
Besides coaching at Hanna, De Dios Garcia had stops at the University of Texas at Brownsville where he was an assistant coach for the women’s team in 2007 and became head coach of the program in 2013.
De Dios Garcia also coached at the semi-professional level for one season by becoming the head coach of the RGV Bravos FC.
De Dios Garcia played professional soccer in Mexico and ended up getting inducted into the Hall of Fame in Matamoros in 2008.
The legendary coach also was inducted into the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012 and in the RGV Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
De Dios Garcia inherits a good group of players at St. Joe as they are bringing back seven returners and three All-Staters from last season in which they went 18-6-1.
De Dios Garcia takes over for Tino Villarreal who has been named the Athletic Director for Brownsville St. Joseph.