Del Mar, community mourn loss of Hector ‘Coach’ Salinas

DMC Regent, lifelong educator was 76

Del Mar College Regent Hector Salinas died Friday morning, college President Mark Escamilla confirmed. He was 76.

Salinas was elected to an at-large seat on the Board of Regents in 2018 and his term would have run through 2024. He previously served on the Corpus Christi Independent School District Board of Trustees.

“Our community was a better place with the passion and dedication to education that Regent Salinas demonstrated,” Escamilla said in a campus-wide email. “His wisdom, leadership and caring nature will be dearly missed by the Del Mar College family.”

Salinas was a longtime coach before his years at Del Mar. He served at head baseball coach at Texas Southmost College in Brownsville and Laredo Junior College. He initiated baseball programs at both Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He also taught and coached baseball at Moody High School, according to his biographical information on the DMC Board of Regents website.

“As a long-time Corpus Christi resident, I certainly knew of Coach Salinas’ legacy but had never worked closely with him until joining the Del Mar Board of Regents in March 2019,” said Regent Libby Averyt. “I had the pleasure of sitting next to him when we met in person in the board room, and he always greeted me with his big smile and positive attitude.”

Averyt said Salinas contributed greatly to the board by keeping the students as his top priority

“His loss will be mourned across South Texas and certainly among his fellow Regents. Coach Salinas was kind, compassionate and straightforward — all qualities that made him an effective Regent. I am so sorry for his family’s grief as we all share in their loss,” Averyt said.

He was a member of the Moody High School Hall of Fame (2000), Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame (2009), A&M-Kingsville Javelina Hall of Fame (2013) and Leo Najo Sports Hall of Fame (1980). He also received the 10th Lifetime Achievement Award for South Texas Winter Baseball.

“We join the Salinas family in mourning the loss of Regent Salinas. As a lifelong educator and coach, he worked hard for his students and athletes to provide them with opportunities to succeed,” said Carol A. Scott, Board of Regents chairperson. “At the board table, he was driven by that same motivation. We will miss his perspective and his focus on our students and the families of South Texas.”

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