Champion of the Barrio
The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty
Sports - Civil Rights
6.125 x 9.25, 288 pp.
40 b&w photos. Index.
Pub Date: 02/09/2015
Swaim-Paup-Foran Spirit of Sport Series, sponsored by James C. ’74 & Debra Parchman Swaim, Nancy & T. Edgar Paup ’74, & Joseph Wm. & Nancy Foran
Price:        $24.95

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Champion of the Barrio

The Legacy of Coach Buryl Baty

R. Gaines Baty

Buryl Baty (1924–1954) was a winning athlete, coach, builder of men, and an early pioneer in the fight against bigotry. In 1950, Baty became head football coach at Bowie High School in El Paso and quickly inspired his athletes, all Mexican Americans from the Segundo Barrio, with his winning ways and his personal stand against the era’s extreme, deep-seated bigotry—to which they were subjected.

However, just as the team was in a position to win a third district title in 1954, they were jolted by an unthinkable tragedy that turned their world upside down. Later, as mature adults, these players realized that Coach Baty had helped mold them into honorable and successful men, and forty-four years after the coach’s death, they dedicated their high school stadium in his name.

In 2013, Baty was inducted posthumously into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame.

In this poignant memoir, R. Gaines Baty also describes his own journey to get to know his father. Coach Baty’s life story is portrayed from the perspectives of nearly one hundred individuals who knew him, in addition to many documented facts and news reports.

R. GAINES BATY, Coach Baty’s son, founded and directs an executive search firm in Dallas, serving high-growth and Fortune 500 companies. He was an accomplished athlete in high school and college, receiving All-Southwest Conference and All-Era honors. In 2011, he was inducted into the Garland, Texas, Sports Hall of Fame.

What Readers Are Saying:

"It's fun learning about Coach Baty. He could run. He could pass. He was a great leader on and off the field. It's a great story about a great man."--Roger Staubach, executive chairman of Jones, Lang, LaSalle; Heisman Trophy winner; Super Bowl champion; and Hall of Fame quarterback

"Perhaps the most talented and gifted athlete to ever come out of Paris High School . . . a coach would consider himself mightily blessed to get one Buryl Baty during his coaching career."--Raymond Berry, NFL Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl coach, NFL All-Time Team, and Retired Number 82 for the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts

"You could not grow up in Paris, Texas without knowing about Buryl Baty. I've heard about him all my life, and now I know why. He took on the world, and he won. This is an inspiring account and a great read."--Gene Stallings, former head coach at Texas A&M University, St. Louis Cardinals, and the National Championship University of Alabama; and College Football Hall of Fame

"A great story about a man who touched lives and is still touching them even though he is gone . . . His son, Gaines Baty, was a student of mine at Texas Tech and played football for the Red Raiders. He is a fine man who had a great dad. This book is a good read about character and football."--Kent Hance, former Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System, US Congressman, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, and Texas State Senator

"I knew Buryl Baty well. He created a glorious era and legacy for his team and school, and it was unbelievable how he captured El Paso's heart. This is a gripping story -- that brought tears to my eyes. Buryl Baty's name lives on."--Ray Sanchez, former writer and editor of the El Paso Herald-Post, author of seven books, member of five Halls of Fame, recipient of several journalism awards, and consultant for the movie Glory Road

“The author describes his father as a hero and a legend, and by the end of the story the case is made. Buryl Baty was an athlete and a coach, but he is a legend because he inspired young Latinos to reach for a better life. The young people of El Paso’s Segundo Barrio faced prejudice every day . . . many readers will be shocked at the vicious treatment Coach Baty’s young players received in Snyder and Big Spring. Discrimination against Latinos is not as familiar to most Americans as discrimination against African Americans. Coach Baty’s fight against racism and bigotry should resonate with readers.”—Michael Barr, author, Remembering Bulldog Turner, Unsung Monster of the Midway

"This is an evocative, heartfelt book about borders--a border town; the invisible border that divided Texans in the mid-20th century; and how Buryl Baty, an Anglo man with a football pedigree, reached across that line to influence scores of Latinos through the game he knew and loved. Champion of the Barrio is an important contribution to our understanding of the power of sports to reach, teach, and transform and a vivid portrait of an inspirational figure who was cut down too soon."--Alexander Wolff, author, Big Game, Small World: A Basketball Adventure

"I believe in this story and in the power of one person to change the lives of the young people entrusted to his care—in this case a football team who Coach Baty would not allow to be discriminated against. It is powerful and uplifting."—Frances B. Vick, coauthor of Petra’s Legacy and Letters to Alice

"The spirit of Buryl Baty lives on so strongly in our hearts and minds because this man was a hero to us all. Coach Baty was a god-send, touching so many lives. He left us too soon, but he left his legacy of inspiration, social consciousness, and love. This book is a must read!"--Nolan Richardson Jr., Hall of Fame, NCAA National Championship Coach, and graduate of Bowie High School in the Segundo Barrio of El Paso

"Perhaps one of Buryl Baty's most important legacies is the hard lessons he taught a generation of Mexican Americans who overcame so many strikes against them. El Paso owes Gaines Baty a ton of gratitude for reconnecting us with a man whose story continues to inspire."--El Paso Times

Champion of the Barrio is more than a biography; it is also the firsthand memories of author R. Gaines Baty, Buryl Baty’s son, and the testimonies of nearly one hundred individuals who knew Baty during his life. Highly recommended. . .”—Midwest Book Review

“. . . part gentle pleasure in the sweet details from the diary of Coach Baty’s wife when she was a teenager, stories of the high-schooler Baty when they built campfires in locker rooms to keep warm, and traveled to away games wearing coats and ties. The author’s depictions of the football games are exciting and suspenseful, and it’s fun to read about names such as Bear Bryant, Tom Landry, and Frank Broyles before fame and fortune.”—Lone Star Literary Life

“Buryl Baty died at the age of thirty, and that is a shame. But with his name on the Bowie High football stadium, his legacy is secure. This book adds to the legend.” — Texas Books in Review


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