Lady Lobos coach Macias dies at 51

Alex Macias, soccer coach for the Brownsville Lopez Lady Lobos, died Wednesday at the age of 51.

Macias coached the Lady Lobos to a co-District 32-5A championship this season, six total titles and numerous state playoff appearances in his 13 years at the helm. He spent one year as the boys coach prior to taking over the girls program.

“He never cheated the game. Did whatever it took to prepare the team and made the players believe in themselves,” Andres Macias said. “His passion for the game and for his team was impactful for the entire community. If they played or coached soccer, they knew him.”

Macias was born in Brownsville and played soccer at Hanna before continuing his career at Newman University in Kansas. He’s a member of the school’s hall of fame for being a part of a team that ranked sixth in the nation.

His brother, Andres — who serves as the assistant boys soccer coach at Brownsville Rivera — called Alex a “proud father, brother, coach, teacher and, most importantly, friend for many.” His nickname was “Handi” because he was a handyman who enjoyed building things for his family and home.

Alex Macias was the motivation for his son, Ryan, who Andres Macias said was “participating in the most prestigious soccer tournament in the country” in Dallas when he got the news. Andres Macias said now Ryan knows Alex “won’t miss any of his games ever again.”

Lopez athletic coordinator Armando Gutierrez said he respected that Macias was a hard worker and the way he led the girls soccer program. Gutierrez met with the Lady Lobos privately to discuss the news about their coach in an emotional conversation, and the team is planning on doing something in memory of Macias.

“The last couple of years that I’ve been here, he’s been one of the standouts,” Gutierrez said. “When they got that (district championship) trophy, he was just ecstatic to get the girls back in the playoffs. The legacy that he leaves behind with us is that blue-collar mentality. … They, like all of us, were just shocked hearing the news this morning. The girls were singing his praises and talking about how much he meant to them, and they cried. Very difficult day.”

J.D. Garcia of the Rio Grande Valley Soccer Coaches Organization called it a big loss for the soccer community. Numerous coaches, players and students shared fond memories and kind words about Macias on social media.

“The Rio Grande Valley Soccer Coaches Organization stands with Jasmine Macias in this moment of grief and expresses its deepest condolences for the sensible demise of her husband, coach Alex Macias,” Garcia said on behalf of the association. “We wish all of his family, friends and Lopez High School staff and players prompt resignation for this great loss. May he rest in peace.”

ccruz@brownsvilleherald.com