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Hall of Honor inductee

Robert De Los Santos

Harlandale ISD’s Athletics Director has made history yet again. Rudy De Los Santos was recently inducted into the Texas High School Athletics Directors Association’s Hall of Honor. He and Gil Garza of San Antonio ISD are the first Hispanics from the Alamo City to be inducted.


“It was a tremendous honor to be accepted. One does not expect to receive something of this magnitude, especially since honors such as these go to districts with much larger areas,” said Mr. De Los Santos.


The inductees were recognized July 29 at the Hyatt Regency where Coach De Los Santos took to the stage to accept his award and give a speech that made the crowd laugh, made his family and friends teary-eyed, and showed his humility.


Mr. De Los Santos was born to Rodolfo and Loreto De Los Santos in Eagle Pass. When he was seven, the De Los Santos family moved to San Antonio where De Los Santos participated in varsity football and track at Burbank High School. He admitted he wasn’t quite built right to play college sports but becoming a coach was his dream so he attended the University of Texas San Antonio and earned his Bachelor of Science degree as well as a high school teaching certification in 1978. Ten years later, he would earn his Masters Degree from Texas A&M University - Kingsville, then Texas A&I.


Soon after receiving his first degree, De Los Santos’ dream came true. He got his first teaching and coaching job at Leal Middle School in the Harlandale ISD. Then, in 1989, he was promoted to Head Coach of the Harlandale High School Varsity Football Team, overseeing the revitalization of the program and turning athletes into a championship team in 1992. De Los Santos did leave for a short time to be the Head Coach at Weslaco High School, but returned in 1996 to serve as HISD’s Athletics Director. It was something he never thought he wanted, but he became the first Hispanic to serve in that capacity within the district and has been at the helm for 16 years now.


De Los Santos has redefined Harlandale’s main sports facility growing it from a football stadium to a multi-sports complex, increased community participation and served on various committees in support of the San Antonio Athletic Directors Association.


The 57-year-old attributes all his success to those around him, his wife and children, fellow coaches and AD’s and the Harlandale family. He promises to keep working hard.


“We want to continue to strive forward in the support of the kids and athletes of the district,” De Los Santos exclaimed.