June 30, 2021 500 PM
MIDLAND – Before being named head coach of Legacy High School’s baseball program this June, Eric Garcia was a born-and-raised Marfan, playing on teams from T-ball to senior league that laid the foundation for his eventual career path.
“I lived in Marfa the first 20 years of my life and grew up playing T-ball there,” Garcia recalls. “Some people there might remember the old teams: the Saint Mary’s Irish, which eventually became the Dairy Queen Thunder team.”
He spent his senior league days in Marfa, competing with Marfa and Alpine teams “playing a lot of baseball on the big field” at Kokernot in Alpine. After graduating from Marfa High School in 1997, he headed for Sul Ross State University, working at the Presidio County Jail to support himself, and eventually transferring to Angelo State where he finished with a degree in kinesiology. Soon after, he started his first coaching job as a junior high football, basketball and track coach in Christoval.
Garcia interviewed for the position at Legacy in mid-June and found out he was hired as head coach on June 21. This coming school year is only his second at Legacy High School (formerly known as Lee High School), where he started off as a U.S. history teacher, assistant football coach and first assistant varsity baseball coach.
During his tenure teaching and coaching, it became harder to return home to Marfa, where a few family members and many friends still reside. Football games often conflicted with Labor Day weekend’s Marfa Lights Festival, a time when many locals return for revelry and fellowship with the community.
The new job title of head coach for the baseball program has taken the role of football coaching off his plate, freeing him up to oversee a varsity and two junior varsity teams, and maybe even visit his hometown more often.
Heading into a new season, Garcia has a strong pitching roster, including Chase Shores, a senior already committed to Oklahoma State University, coming in at 6’8” and throwing pitches in the mid-90-miles-per-hour range. “He’s got a good chance of playing at the pro level someday,” Garcia said. Last year the team went 23-9, finishing second in district playoffs, and he’s even more excited for this coming year.