Everardo Carlos "E.C." Lerma

Inducted: 1989

Best Known For: Football (Player & Coach)

Hometown: Kingsville, TX

College: Texas A&I

He was one of the trailblazers of the Valley game, and E.C. Lerma never shied away from a challenge. The Kingsville native broke the color barrier at Texas A&I in 1934 as a player, and then became the first Hispanic head coach in Texas at Benavides in 1939. He led that Brush Country program to many seasons of success with patient, discipline, and a knack for the Xs and Os that distinguished him among his peers.

Later, Lerma took over the helm at Rio Grande City, winning 53 games from 1955-65, and leading the Rattlers to their first winning season, 7-2 in 1957. His son, John, was a high school star who later became a successful coach as well.

In 1968, the state’s mentors recognized the contributions Lerma made in high school athletics and race relations by naming him to the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.