Mission - Ramiro "Coach" Villegas
RGV Sports Hall of Fame member Ramiro Villegas, passed away Thursday, September 16, 2021, at his residence in Mission surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honor his legacy.
Ramiro was born to Simon and Manuela Villegas on December 16, 1939. Sisters Carmen Villegas (deceased), and Oralia (Arturo) Requenez from Mission. Brothers Raul (Susie) Villegas and Baldemar Villegas from McAllen.
Ramiro was a loyal friend to all who knew him, a celebrated teammate, a true champion, and a great coach who touched the lives of many athletes. He was a standout athlete in all sports as a Bulldog at McAllen High School Class of '59. His outstanding accomplishments earned him many local and state recognitions. After graduating high school, he had multiple opportunities to leave the Valley to pursue his college athletic career. Ramiro elected to remain in the RGV close to his family and his community. Ramiro accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Pan American College. The highlight of his college basketball career was playing point-guard for the Pan American Broncs NAIA National Championship team in 1962-63. Ramiro also played on the NAIA USA All Star Team that toured South American conducting basketball clinics and playing exhibitions games in the summer of 1963.
In 1965, Coach Ramiro Villegas began developing a competitive high school basketball program as the Head Coach for the Rio Grande City Rattlers. Coach Villegas led the Rattlers to their first ever district basketball title, a historic milestone for the school and community that led to capturing 4 more titles throughout the 1970's, earning him multiple Coach of the Year accolades.
In 1982 he transitioned to leading the football program as Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. Coach led the 1982-83 Rattlers to their first ever District Championship title. Coach Villegas, a Rio Grande City Rattler, retired after 32 years leaving a lasting legacy for countless students, athletes, and community all whose lives he's touched with leadership, courage, winning attitude, and professionalism.
Ramiro is preceded in death by his wife and number one fan Mary Lou and son Omar Jaime Villegas. He is survived by his children Marlene (Roy) Larralde, Leticia (Reynaldo) Mercado, Ramiro (Melissa) Villegas. Nine grandchildren: Charlene and Marcus Roy Larralde, Arlene (Miguel) Gutierrez, Raven, Lexus, Bryce, and Ridge Villegas, Jared and Cameron Mercado and 2 great-granddaughters Arabella and Michaela Gutierrez.
Please join us celebrating his life Tuesday, September 21st, between 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Del Angel Funeral Home, 3611 N. Taylor Rd. Mission, with 7:00 pm Rosary. The family would like guests to wear red and white to honor the Rattler's Alma Mater.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Ramiro "Coach" Villegas Scholarship fund for Athletes of Rio Grande City CISD. You may scan the photo below or enter the CashApp username in the app: $VillegasScholarship Please include in the memo, your full name so we can give thanks to all who donate.
Published by The Monitor on Sep. 19, 2021.