LANSING, Michigan – Lansing Eastern High School honors one of its former teachers and coaches by naming its football stadium in his honor.
Gilberto Sauceda worked for Lansing Eastern from 1979 to 1993. During this time he taught English, coached football and was assistant manager.
In 1993, he became a member of the Michigan High School Association Hall of Fame.
But Sauceda’s impact has extended beyond coaching.
Marcelle Carruthers, director of Lansing Eastern, was trained and coached by Sauceda in the early 1980s. He described his former instructor as part of the “fabric” of the community.
“He was always there, whether it was morning, noon or evening. He was always available, ”Carruthers said.
But Carruthers was not the only director of Lansing to have been trained and taught by Sauceda. He also taught the principal of Sexton High School and the former principal of Haslett High School.
Nino Rodriguez, board member at Lansing School, remembers when he was vice-principal and Sauceda was a teacher, the coach would come to his office and say hello to him every morning before class.
“Gilberto was a very special human being, always taking care of his family, taking care of the students, taking care of the school,” Rodriguez said. “He cared not only for the students who were on the team, but also for all the rest of the students in high school.
Guillermo López, another Lansing school board member, said he even experienced the community’s adoration for Sauceda during his campaign for Lansing city council.
“One of my election campaigns was in his neighborhood and the first thing I was asked was, ‘Do you know Coach Sauceda? Do you know Gil? ‘”Said López. “And I said yes, I know Gil. So forget about my campaign. We talked about the coach and how he was a good neighbor.
López said the school board is planning to invite many former Sauceda players and students to the inauguration, which will take place next year in time for the start of the football season.
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