The basketball court in the Mission High School Neuhaus Gym will now be known as the Coach Roy Garcia Court — named after the late Rosendo “Roy” Garcia.
The former Mission Eagles basketball coach had a reputation for success. He spent 28 years leading the MHS basketball program to victory as the head basketball coach and athletic director, and even holding both positions simultaneously for a period.
Garcia boasted 11 district championships and 15 playoff appearances in Mission, and 712 total wins for his career. In 1993 he was inducted into the RGV Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2001 he retired for the first of three times before his death in June 2022 at 80 years old.
After the Mission community suggested naming the basketball court, the district organized a committee, which later unanimously recommended Garcia as the honoree. The committee consisted of Luduvico “Toro” Martinez, Rene Garza, Alex Del Barrio, Gus Zapata Sr., Oscar Martinez, Norma Lee Garza and Cindy Pacheco.
In June, the MCISD Board of Trustees approved the name; in July, it approved the design for the gym floor.
At the July 19 special meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Operations Rick Rivera presented the design and its preferred court placement, which the committee and administration drafted together.
“Family members were not in attendance. However, Mission High School athletic staff were always in direct communication with the Roy Garcia family — his sons and daughter,” Rivera said.
The court motif is a sketch-like silhouette of Garcia’s face above the name Coach Roy Garcia Court. However, the district cannot determine the size, font or placement on the basketball court until after administration contracts a floor design professional and verifies UIL regulations.
Trustee and former Mission CISD coach Iris Iglesias expressed her special interest and worries about the design.
“This man was my mentor and I learned a lot about coaching from him. And…they’re gonna be stepping on his face there,” she said.
But Superintendent Dr. Carol Perez explained that Mission CISD wanted to honor the family and committee’s requests. However, ultimately the district must abide by UIL regulations. Once administration hires a vendor to redo the gym floor, it will present the schematic design again at a school board meeting for approval.
Iglesias also mentioned installing a wall placard honoring the legendary coach, in addition to the court design. And through public comment and online petition, community members also suggested a statue or bust in Garcia’s likeness. Rivera said administration has not discussed a plaque, but it will bring all ideas and recommendations to the board.
“I spent many years with this coach and learned a lot from him and I would like to be on target with this,” Iglesias said.
Regarding the timeline, the assistant superintendent for operations said it would take approximately 72 hours for the floor to cure after installation, which could happen in the weeks between volleyball and basketball season. But the district nor the Garcia family does not want to rush the process.
“I personally spoke to Roy Garcia Jr. and one of his key points to me was, ‘I do not want to interfere with any sports activities throughout the year,’” Rivera explained. “He said, ‘If we need to wait to the end of next year…we’re willing to wait.’”