Las Cruces head softball coach passes away, students organize vigil

Las Cruces head softball coach passes away, students organize vigil

POSTED: Saturday, October 26, 2013 - 11:01pm

UPDATED: Sunday, October 27, 2013 - 1:06pm

Las Cruces High School head softball coach Guillermo "Will" Garcia, 39, passed away over the weekend.  Garcia was a single father of four children.

Members of the school's softball team gathered at the school with their parents Saturday morning once they heard the news.  School administrators did not provide information on how he passed away.

Garcia was hired by the district in 2005 and worked as a social studies teacher and assistant girls softball coach at Oñate High School before he moved to Las Cruces High School in 2009 as a special education teacher, then later became the head girls softball coach.

He led the team to the school's first state championship in May, 2013.  Garcia was named the 2013 New Mexico High School Coaches Association Softball Coach of the Year. 

In a statement released Saturday, Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Stan Rounds said, "I am deeply saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Coach Will Garcia. He was a dedicated teacher and coach who had great rapport with our students. He will be missed and our heart goes out to his family."

Students organized a candlelight vigil Saturday evening at the Las Cruces High School softball practice field.

Las Cruces High School Principal Jed Hendee said counselors and the district's team psychologists will be available for students and staff.


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