Premont ISD honors Coach Guerra by naming track in his honor

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal
Coach Daniel Guerra stands with his family accepted a plaque during the naming of Premont's track. The track was named in his honor.

PREMONT - From being a homeless child to having a successful career, Daniel "Coach" Guerra held his head high as the Premont Independent School District honored him by naming the track at the Premont Cowboys Stadium after him.

On Saturday, March 27, Guerra and his family were part of ceremony in Guerra's honor.

"I look at Premont today and I still see the kids that have the potential to bring state championships," Guerra said has held back tears.

Guerra accepted a plaque from the district. There is also a sign one one side of the football scoreboard in his honor.

The Guerra family participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of Coach Daniel Guerra.

"(My family) is very humbled and grateful for this opportunity. I taught about this when I first saw this track made, there seemed to be no other appropriate name, then my dad's name. It's not bragging. He really is one of the most accomplished coaches in the State of Texas," said Guerra's daughter, Ana Alfaro. "After talking to my dad, multiple times these last few weeks, he wanted to let everyone know that the titles were not necessarily his end goal. His end goal was to develop good citizens, good family members, good community members, and those would become good employees."

Guerra was born in Hebbronville in 1945. He is the fourth of eight children and learned the value of hard work early in life. The son of migrant workers, Guerra was homeless for much of his early life where he learned 'humility and humiliation.' Humility because it was hard and honest work; humiliation because the conditions he endured were not pleasant.

His family moved to California where he attended Patterson High School. There he participated in track and field and advanced to state track meet his junior year in the 440 yard race. In 1962, his family moved back to Hebbronville where he graduated in 1963. At the age of 17, Guerra enlisted into the United States Army. After his military career, he married Azucena Suarez, in 1967, and attended Texas A&I University in 1970 and again in 1977. He has a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Kinesiology.

Premont ISD names track at Premont Cowboys Stadium after Coach Daniel Guerra.

He began his teaching career at Colston Elementary in Kingsville from 1970 to 1974, but his first coaching position was at Gillette Middle School from 1974 through 1977. 

Guerra and his wife moved to Premont in 1977 and taught eighth grade football at Premont ISD. It was then this his success in coaching began with his son Hector Guerra, whom he coached to a National PP&K title in 1980 at the Super Bowl XIV in Pasadena, CA. 

Coach established the summer AAU track program in Premont and word spread of his coaching knowledge and abilities. Over the years, he coached the girls basketball and track teams, junior varsity football, scouted varsity football games, was an elementary physical education coach and continued to organize the high school boys and girls programs. 

With all his accomplishments, Coach Guerra is the most successful coach in Premont ISD history, as well as one of the most legendary coaches in South Texas.

Coach's success was not limited to sports. He mentored thousands of student athletes and believed that sports taught valuable life skills and good work ethic.

He has been married to Azucena for 54 years. They have two children, Hector (Sandra) Guerra of Premont, and Ana Alfaro of Edinburg, five grandchildren, Gus, Andre, Zachary, Makenna and Melina.