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Larry Baca - Great father, coach and friend passes away

5 months 1 week ago #1 by joegiglia
Larry Baca, retired Los Alamos Head track coach, passed away Thursday morning, February 7th, of an apparent heart attack. Larry had been on a morning run and was later found by a friend.
If you had never met Larry Baca, well you missed one of the shining rays of life.
Larry began his Track coaching career in Bloomfield, NM around 1981 as Phil Sategna's only assistant coach. Phil and Larry worked side by side until Larry moved on to coach at Los Alamos in 1985. At Los Alamos, Larry had the uncanny ability to see and develop talent that even his athletes themselves had never thought would happen. He had a way about him... a look, that smile, an air of confidence that fostered belief and confidence for those around him.
Larry was a competitor and expected no less of himself than of those he coached. He had what I called a unicycle personality. You know the type. If someone put a unicycle in front of this type of person and said "don't even try, because you won't be able to do it", they are the ones that bust ankles, bleed from falls, come home bruised and banged up.....RIDING that unicycle.... AND smiling.
Larry loved the outdoors. He loved to hunt. And another testament to his "unicycle personality", Larry hunted with the bow and arrow. In fact, the first time I ever met Larry was in 1990 when I came across him during an archery antelope hunt in the Tres Piedras prairie foothills. One bottle of shared water and we were friends from there on.
Every time I would see Larry at a track meet, at a clinic or when we called or texted, the conversation always ended up with us talking about our hunting adventures. We teased each other a lot, often with me letting him know that he was an okay coach, but at least he knew how to hunt if he ever lost his job.
Larry was a class act. Loud with his support and drive for others, quiet with his own successes. He brought nothing but honor and dignity to his family, his teams and to his school.
Larry Baca was a good man and I am proud to have had him as my friend.
The sun will be just a little less bright now for me. One of it's shining lights has passed on.

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Begun in 1987 by a small group of visionaries with the goal of a NM Meet of Champions, as well as developing better communication and unification between all track and cross country coaches, the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association was born and has grown to what you see today. Our association has and must continue to be the guiding force for positive change and the protection of all aspects of New Mexico Track and Cross Country that we believe important to our athletes and our coaches. Changes are a part of life. We are our best "Advocates" for helping to direct that change in a positive and constructive way. We must continue to "Educate" our membership and give them the best tools for success. And, as a professional organization, we must "Celebrate" those successes, those stories, those special moments and actions that make our sports such wonderful tools in helping to mold the youth of New Mexico. We ARE the NMTCCCA !!!