Sunday, June 13, 2010



In the fall of 1975 Noe De Leon mentioned to the Robstown ISD Track and Field Coaching Staff that one day he would like to be part of the group. On January 19 of this year, he joined the Cotton Picker Track and Field Coaching Staff.

Coach De Leon was persuaded to join the Robstown High School Varsity by head Track and Field Coach Adolfo Gonzalez. “I persuaded Noe to start this season and not to wait until the next cross country season,” stated Coach Gonzalez.

De Leon is a 1976 student-athlete and graduate of Robstown ISD. He has many accomplishments in athletics and coaching. These are a few. When in high school (at a time when Robstown High was in the Corpus Christi 4A district – before there was 5A in the state) De Leon became the first Cotton Picker to win the Robstown High School Cross Country Meet in its seventh running in 1974.

He was Robstown’s first student-athlete to win district titles in cross country (1975) and in track and field (1976).

After high school, De Leon attended Texas A&I University in Kingsville (now Texas A & M – Kingsville) on a scholarship. There he broke school records in cross country and track and field.

From 1976 to 1980 (in track and field) he broke school records over 1,500 m., 5,000 m., 10,000 m., half-marathon (13.1), marathon (26.2) and the Lone Star Conference record in the marathon. He still holds the half-marathon, and marathon University records. After 30 years later, the record breaking feat has yet to be matched.

In the fall of 1977 De Leon became Texas A&I’s first “Javelina” to win the Lone Star Conference Cross Country championship in the history of the university.

After college De Leon competed professionally for the company NIKE. He was the first runner from South Texas to win prize money. During the fall of 1985, he was the first male on the original NIKE Team Texas that competed in the USA World Cross Country Trails in Albine, Texas; also in 1985 he competed in the Texas relays in Austin, Texas where he finished eighth place in the 10,000 m. (6.2) in an international field among 24 runners. He was the first American to cross the finish line in a time of 30:21:00 (a personal best).

In the mid-1990s he was a member of Calallen ISD’s boys Track and Field Coaching Staff where he coached the middle distance, and distance runners. The boys won district titles in varsity track and field, varsity cross Country, and Jr. High cross country. The championships were the first in the track and field, cross country, and Jr. High cross country in the history of Calallen ISD.

Recently, De Leon was featured in Texas A&M Kingsville’s Javelina Highlights News Magazine., acknowledging that he was coaching in his hometown of Robstown. A dream come true and a goal fulfilled some 35 years later.

The Javelina Highlights publication is carried by area newspapers such as the Kingsville Record, Falfurrias' FACTS and other newspapers. It is read all over the USA and world. It is also on-line. The publication also mentioned that De Leon would be training the Robstown ISD’s Boys High School and Jr. High and Middle Distance and Distance Runners.

Coaches Gonzalez and De Leon now work as a team at the Robstown Seale Jr. High. They are from different eras; however, both were committed student-athletes while in Junior High. They both work at the same school. De Leon is the Jr. High ISS Teacher; Gonzalez, the Jr. High Athletic Director.

Gonzalez played football and track in high school for our Cotton Pickers. He was All-District, in track his senior year of 1990, finishing third in the 100 m. Gonzalez, also won honors in Varsity Football where he was All-District and All south Texas. He played running back and his team competed in the Play-Off’s in 4A.

Both his Jr. High football and Basketball Teams won three out of four district titles this season -- 2009 – on the “Gridiron” and the “Hardwood.” “Our boys have been working these past weeks, and I’m looking forward to this track season. We hope to improve all our programs,” concluded Gonzalez.

(Update: The EIGHTH-GRADE BOYS TRACK AND FIELD TEAM won district by one point. Some of the coaches were hometown coaches. This marks the first time that EIGHTH-GRADERS win district in the history of Robstown ISD. This victory took place in early April of this year.)

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