The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty
R. Gaines Baty
Genre: Biography / Sports / Civil Rights
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Date of Publication: February 9, 2015
Number of Pages: 288
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In 1947, after serving in WWII and quarterbacking the Texas Aggies during the glory days of the old Southwest Conference, Texas football legend Buryl Baty was drafted by the Detroit Lions. But, the NFL wouldn’t be where he’d create his legacy. He instead became the head football coach at Bowie High School in El Paso, where he’d inspire a team of Mexican Americans from the Segundo Barrio with his winning ways and stand against the era’s extreme, deep-seated bigotry.
Tragically, however, just as the team was in a position to win a third championship in 1954, they were jolted by news that would turn their worlds upside down.
Later, as mature adults, these players reflected on Coach Baty’s lasting inspiration and influence, and 44 years after his death, dedicated their high school stadium in his name. The El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame followed up that honor in 2013 by inducting Baty posthumously.
In this poignant memoir, Baty’s son, R. Gaines Baty, describes his own journey to know his father, portraying the man’s life and accomplishments through the perspectives of nearly 100 individuals who knew him, including many of the young men he coached and whose lives he changed. In addition to many documented facts and news reports. NFL Hall of Famer Raymond Berry provides a heartfelt and relevant foreword.
A university professor labeled this an important and historic piece of work. It is also a moving story of leadership and triumph over hardship, over discrimination, over tragedy, over one’s self.
PRAISE FOR CHAMPION OF THE BARRIO
“The best love story I have ever read.” –William “Bill” Reed, author and retired news reporter/assistant editor at the Dallas Times Herald and Dallas Morning News.
“Champion of the Barrio is an important contribution to our understanding of the power of sports to reach, teach, and transform and a vivid portrait of an inspirational figure who was cut down too soon.” –Alexander Wolff, award-winning sports journalist, Sports Illustrated
“You could not grow up in Paris, Texas without knowing about Buryl Baty. He took on the world, and he won. This is an inspiring account and a great read.” –Gene Stallings, former head coach at Texas A&M, of the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals and of the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide; Member, College Football Hall of Fame
“I knew Buryl Baty well. He created a glorious era and legacy for his team and school, and it was unbelievable how he captured El Paso’s heart. This is a gripping story — that brought tears to my eyes. Buryl Baty’s name lives on.” –Ray Sanchez, former writer and editor of the El Paso Herald-Post, author of seven books, member of five Halls of Fame and consultant for the movie Glory Road
“Perhaps one of Buryl Baty’s most important legacies is the hard lessons he taught a generation of Mexican Americans, who overcame so many strikes against them. El Paso owes Gaines Baty a ton of gratitude for reconnecting us with a man whose story continues to inspire.” —El Paso Times
The following image shares some of Buryl Baty’s history – from his personal life to coaching.
R. GAINES BATY, Coach Buryl Baty’s son, was a “Featured Author” and panelist at the 2015 Texas Book Festival in recognition of Champion of the Barrio, He has been published or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Healthcare IT News, etc. Professionally, he founded and leads a nationally-recognized executive search firm, and is a career counselor, trainer and author. Previously, he was an accomplished college athlete, receiving All-Southwest Conference and All-Era honors. In 2011, he was inducted into the Garland (TX) Sports Hall of Fame.
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November 10 – 19, 2016
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