Kingsville Gillette Middle School in Texas reports the loss of a beloved coach and teacher.
Coach Marco Contreras, 48, collapsed on the field shortly before last Friday’s football game between H.M. King and Tuloso-Midway.
According to KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, Contreras received emergency medical aid on the field and was quickly taken to a hospital, but could not be revived.
Kris O’Neal, head coach for Tuloso-Midway, shared with KIII-TV that he and others saw Contreras collapse and rushed to administer emergency aid, including using an “external defibrillator.”
O’Neal added: “My athletic trainer, I saw him move quickly to the area; that caught my eye … I was really proud of all of our staff. … We started moving kids, AEDs, dialed 911, all of that was done within about 60 seconds.”
Ismael Villarreal, the Tuloso-Midway athletic trainer, reported attaching the AED pads to Contreras “right away.”
Villarreal recalled: “I’ve used the AED and began administering CPR. I was the first one, then quickly a PD officer which, I’m so bad at names … I apologize,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal added: “A PD officer saw me and right away, started assisting me, and then an off-duty fireman was here for the game. He came down and was basically facilitating so there was three of us working on him until EMS arrived.”
Contreras was a versatile coach, providing encouragement and instruction to football, soccer, cross-country, track, and basketball teams for the Kingsville Independent School District since 2018, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
Contreras also served as a teacher at the alternative Community School, which supports at-risk youth.
Many have expressed their condolences to the coach, educator and community leader.
KRIS-TV reported that Coach Ruben Garcia of H.M. King said of Contreras’ death: “coaches throughout the state and everyone else in the community is heartbroken.”
Garcia added: “Coach Contreras was a great all-around guy. He was funny, a great guy to talk to, just a very nice guy. He cared about the kids. Great guy to have on staff and a great guy to be around.”
In reflecting on the relationship Contreras had with those he coached, Garcia noted that the players gave everything they had for Contreras.
“It just shows who they are and their character,” Garcia said. “They wanted to play for him, and they wanted to go out there and do everything they could do to honor him. They had him on their heart, and that’s what type of kids we have in our community.”
“He was a great guy to be around, and he was someone that brightened your day. He was an all-around good guy who really cared about the kids.” Garcia said.
Superintendent Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez said in a Facebook post: “Coach Contreras will be sincerely missed by all who knew him.”
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