Public celebration of life remembers baseball legend Augie Garrido

Austin

Former University of Texas at Austin baseball coach Augie Garrido was remembered for his accomplishments at a service celebrating his life and legacy at the Frank Erwin Center Monday. The event began at 2 p.m. 

The event is open to the public and in lieu of flowers, donations are being requested for the Neighborhood Longhorn Program. It’s a university nonprofit Garrido dedicated his time to for nearly 20
years.

It started in 1991 with a partnership between the UT Women’s Athletics and the city to inspire students who come from low-income families to go to college.

Allison Elementary in east Austin is one of 33 AISD schools involved in the Neighborhood Longhorn Program.

“Augie would come to this school and call the night before and say, ‘Hey lets get out to Allison Elementary at 7 o’clock in the morning and lets get out and talk to some kids,’ and that’s what he would do,” says Celina Ruiz-Snowden, the program director for Neighborhood Longhorns.

Part of the program involves athletes and students from UT going to local elementary schools to mentor and tutor students. Benito Faz, an Allison Elementary 4th grade teacher, said the partnership created field trip opportunities and athlete visits, which helped motivate kids to be interested in higher education.

“It has inspired me to want to go to college and be an engineer,” says Joanna Rodriguez, Allison Elementary 4th grader. “When I grow up I want to go to either Harvard or UT.”

Coach Garrido got involved by creating Augie’s Grand Slam Reading Program — where kids who read, go to a game.

“It was the best football game, I had never been to a football game, but it was really good. It went into overtime so it was awesome,” says Rodriguez.

 “The girl’s basketball game at UT really inspired me and I think that from there on that girls can do anything,” says Daisy Reyes, Allison Elementary 4th grader.

The program survives on donations — but also the public’s time. Anyone can mentor students or go to a class to read.

Click here for more information on how to participate or support the program.

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