54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Joseph Cervantes









     WHEREAS, Salvador "Sal" Gonzalez, a resident of Anthony, New Mexico, died on November 2, 2017; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was the son of Enrique and Consuelo Gonzalez; and

     WHEREAS, Sal had quite an impressive high school athletic record at Gadsden High School in Anthony; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was named a 1955 high school all-American in football, and his four-year record of scoring and rushing yardage was submitted to the national high school athletic federation as a national record; and

     WHEREAS, as a high school fullback, Sal was named to the south all-state football team for three years, was a leading vote getter for the south team and was named captain of the south all-star team in his senior year; and

     WHEREAS, in addition to his football accomplishments, Sal played on the Gadsden high school baseball team, a team that won three state championships; and

     WHEREAS, Sal said he learned to play football and baseball as a youngster by taking part in sandlot games behind the Baptist church in Anthony; and

     WHEREAS, Sal always gave credit to his high school coach George DiTierro for the skills Sal developed in football and baseball; and

     WHEREAS, Sal rejected a chance to sign a big league baseball contract with the Washington senators on the advice of his father, who wanted him to get a college education; and

     WHEREAS, Sal enrolled at the university of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, on a football and baseball scholarship; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was a pleasant surprise to Arizona coach Warren Woodson, when Sal made his debut as a freshman tailback and amazed his coach with his ability; and

     WHEREAS, Sal also played on the wildcat baseball team as a third baseman; and

     WHEREAS, Sal transferred to New Mexico state university after his sophomore year when coach Warren Woodson was hired as head football coach for the aggies; and

     WHEREAS, at New Mexico state university, Sal played in two victorious sun bowl championships and also played baseball with the aggies and was named team captain; and

     WHEREAS, following his graduation from New Mexico state university, Sal coached at several high schools, including Laguna-Acoma, Santa Rosa, Los Lunas and Gadsden, where he took many of those teams to state championship finals in baseball and football; and

     WHEREAS, Sal's career included that of a teacher, coach, athletic director and administrator; and

     WHEREAS, Sal produced some outstanding athletes during his coaching career; and

     WHEREAS, after his retirement from high school coaching, Sal served as an interim baseball coach at New Mexico state university and assisted in rebuilding the football program at New Mexico highlands university; and

     WHEREAS, in 1985, Sal was recognized and inducted into the Las Cruces hall of fame along with other aggie athletes; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was also recognized in 2018 for his leadership as a Dona Ana county commissioner from 1983 to 1986; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was a man of strength, character and integrity, who had the uncanny ability to bring out the best in people he encountered; and

     WHEREAS, Sal was an inspiration to his athletes and, as a result, many went on to teaching and coaching careers, careers in government and community services and other professional fields; and

     WHEREAS, Sal is survived by his wife, Betty; his daughters, Teresa and Kathy; his grandchildren, Ava and Alex; and his brothers, Enrique Gonzalez and Ramon Gonzalez;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that Salvador "Sal" Gonzalez be honored for a life well-lived and for his many accomplishments; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be transmitted to Sal's wife, Betty Gonzalez.

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