Longtime Porter coach Garza takes over Greyhounds boys hoops

After spending 21 years coaching boys basketball at Brownsville Porter, Luis Garza has embarked on a new journey to lead the San Benito boys hoops program.

Garza, a Porter alumnus, served as the Cowboys’ head coach for 18 seasons. He got Porter to the playoffs 10 times and to the Sweet 16 in 2013. Garza admitted being nervous and a bit scared when he got the new position, but more than anything, he’s excited about the potential at San Benito.

“I’m grateful for the San Benito school district for giving me the opportunity to come over here,” Garza said. “I’m thankful to (athletic director Dan Gomez and principal Rudy Ramirez) and the entire staff. They’ve been really, really good to me. The way they’ve welcomed me here is amazing. I’m going to give them 100 percent and see where it takes us.”

It wasn’t easy for Garza to leave a program he played for and helped to elevate, but Garza felt it was time for a new challenge. He took a team that was often overlooked into the postseason and left a positive mark at Porter.

“(Porter) was very good to me there. It was special,” Garza said. “I remember telling my wife and my family when I became a coach that I wanted to go back to Porter and be successful. I played there, and I knew how hard it was to win there. It meant more to me because my sweat and tears were on that court, so the greatest moment was being successful and proving that we could do it regardless of where you’re at or where you come from.”

Now, Garza has his sights set on building on the potential he feels the Greyhounds already have. He expressed his admiration for the consistent success the athletic department has, and he’s aiming to learn some things from the football team to make boys basketball “just as competitive as the football program is.”

“I came in feeling really, really positive about what we can build here. The tradition of San Benito athletics has always been great, they’ve been successful in many sports and they’ve done a good job in basketball. I’m hoping we can steal some of that fire and tenacity that is out there on the gridiron,” Garza said.

San Benito’s first day of school was Wednesday, which gave Garza the opportunity to meet all his basketball players, and he said they “had a real good talk.” He introduced his plan for the program, which is inspired by a proverb that says, “If you chase two rabbits, you’re going to catch neither.”

He wants the Greyhounds to focus solely on being the best version of themselves, and once they focus on their own potential, Garza believes good things will follow.

“I’m a coach that believes in the process. The process to build a winning program, the process of success,” Garza said. “We’re going to focus on one thing. I told the guys, we’re not going to chase Weslaco or Los Fresnos or Harlingen South. We’re going to worry about being the best we can be.

“I think they really bought into it,” he continued. “I can see that the kids are excited about the opportunity and the expectations. Success is sequential, it’s not overnight, so we’re going to work at it every day and we’re going to chase one thing, and that one thing is going to help us focus on being the best we can be.”

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