Updated: May 27
Central Unified School District’s new school will be named Justin Garza High School
a students/football players perspective of the hero named Coach Garza
"Such a great teacher, such a great coach, and overall a great man. He taught me alot and I was always grateful for when he broke things down and had the patience of a saint. this is awesome"!
R.I.P. Coach Garza!
I wrote this and posted this after seeing the article posted on Facebook by a fellow alumni and didn't feel those words did justice as to who Coach Garza was to me as a player that was coached by him, and a student that was taught by him. so here we go down the memory lane and i hope ya can respect the man and appreciate why this is a great honor but also a rightful one.
I played football for Central Unified for 6 years and had Coach Garza as a coach all 4 years of High School, he wasn't my intermediate coach as I was usually on the offensive line, or defensive line and Garza was always around to help and encourage me to do better. I did interact with him alot tho when we would have scrimmage games or pre-game run throughs as I usually tried every position and when it came to taht time, i was always down to help the team no matter where they needed me, Garza was always willing to give me the chance to try any position and always told me "you'll never know until ya try"
I wasnt the most gifted player or the most talented, and at times would dread going to practice, but I always showed up and loved showing up to practice to hear what Garza was gonna say on the sidebars,while Coach K was giving a speech. He was a funny coach, but also serous when he needed to be,The smile he had could get pull ya out of any funk you where in, and with his ya gotta want it attitude, It was never a dull practice with him there.
I just wanted to people to know that Coach Garza a little of my perspective of this great man i have had the pleasure of knowing and getting coached by, (looking back) we often dont take time to acknowledge the people in our lives when they are or take a step back and look at who they are and how they are impacting you positively, and if we could we'd suck in every ounce of what makes that person and incorporate it into ourselves instead of viewing the person as a coach or teacher, as i look back, Garza really was a friend to his players(i can only speak for myself) but i did see a lot of interactions with other players and how he treated them and there was never really anything negative or bad said about Garza,if you where to do a google search you'd find nothing but article, after article upon how great of a man he was and how much a positive influence on the community he was and i couldn't agree more.
I would go to the extreme to even call this man a hero, because through all of this until I found out about his death(rest in peace) I had no clue he was going through medical issue, he hid it very well, at least from my perception and I am baffled upon how such a man be able to go through that and still have the will and determination to not let us kids down because we meant the world to him.
I am very thankful for the School district selecting Garza as the schools name and im sure it will inspire many kids to become great people.
Justin Garza was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011, He lost the battle after fighting for 6 years in 2017. Garza was the Coach of Central High School East Campus,Reedly High School, and at Sunnyside High School in Fresno,Ca
Coach Garza Doing what he loved. In the game